3 Things Long-Distance Caregivers Can Use to Keep Seniors Safe and Happy
Looking after a senior loved one from afar? You should know that geographical limitations don’t have to negatively impact your role as a long-distance caregiver. There are so many useful tools, such as the ones listed below, that you can use to keep your parent or loved one healthy and content—even when you can’t physically be there to provide daily care.
Seniors are embracing tech these days and finding new ways to make their lives more convenient. The latest tech can also help seniors stay connected to their long-distance caregivers, so look for senior-friendly phones that come with the features and services to keep your loved one comfortable and keep you connected with each other from afar. Depending on your loved one’s comfort level, you may want to opt for a simple flip phone for calls and texts, a durable military-grade phone for drops and spills, or even a smartphone with easy-to-use features. From the latest iPhone to the latest Android, there are actually quite a few smartphones that are simple enough for any senior to use. You can also find senior rates for data plans to go with that new phone. These plans are available to consumers who are 55 and older, so if you are an older adult looking after a senior parent, you could even use the discounts to help offset family caregiving expenses, which tend to be higher for long-distance providers.
Aging-in-Place Home Features
When you are caring for a senior parent or relative from afar, your main concern is typically safety. That’s because accidents in the home, such as falls, account for the vast majority of serious injuries and hospitalizations among the elderly. In fact, 1 in 5 senior falls within the home will result in a critical injury, and 3 million seniors experience falls every year that result in an emergency room visit. Those are some pretty frightening statistics, especially for long-distance caregivers, but the upside is that you can easily prevent most accidents at home with a few aging-in-place-modifications. You and your loved can make these lifestyle changes to the home to reduce the risk of serious falls. These fall prevention home upgrades include removing rugs and other clutter, keeping often-used items within easy reach, and making updates to the bathroom. For the latter, and for other major renovations, know that some financial assistance may be available to cover costs. You or your loved one may be able to use loans, grants or benefits to help pay for the modifications.
Local Senior Resources and Networks
If you want to keep an eye on your loved one, you could use a remote monitoring system, which is a good idea for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive health issues. When security and monitoring systems are not feasible though, your next best option is to create a network of local folks you can count on to help out with the care your loved one needs. This network should include family, friends and medical professionals, and it can be vital to ensuring that seniors feel connected, comfortable and safe. Aside from a local caregiving network of friends and neighbors, you can also look to local senior resources like senior meal delivery services that also deliver social connections along with nutritious foods. Finally, if your parent or loved one needs assistance with daily tasks, be sure to research in-home care options so that you get the right type of care and help that will help preserve your loved one’s quality of life.
You can’t always be there to care for your senior loved ones, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ensure that they are taken care of properly. If you are a long-distance caregiver, be sure to look into helpful ways to protect the health and happiness of your loved one and give you peace of mind from any distance.
Blog by: Claire Wentz of CaringFromAfar.com
Photo Credit: Pexels