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As our parents and grandparents age, it can be difficult to support them from a distance. But there are ways you can help an older relative at home even if you’re not able to visit in person. With advances in technology, staying connected with your loved ones has never been easier. Here are six tips for providing care and support for an elderly family member without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
1. Check in regularly
Being away from your elderly relative can be hard, but staying in touch is important. Make it a point to call or video chat with them on a regular basis so they know you’re thinking of them. Additionally, you can use technology to keep an eye on them. Setting up various apps and services that track their location or activity can help give you peace of mind when you’re unable to check in directly. This can also be an effective way to keep them safe and monitor any changes that may indicate a need for medical care. For example, you can use services like Life360 or SimpliSafe to monitor their location and activity levels.
2. Monitor their health
Your elderly relative may need help managing medications, doctor’s appointments, and other medical needs. You can help make sure they stay on top of these by scheduling regular calls with them to discuss their health and any concerns that have come up since your last check-in. Additionally, if possible, offer to connect them with a healthcare professional who can provide additional support as needed. This could be a doctor or nurse practitioner that they are able to video chat with or even an online service such as MDLIVE where they can get personalized advice from the comfort of home.
3. Hire an elderly care service:
If your elderly relative needs more help than you are able to provide, consider hiring an in-home care service. Professional caregivers can assist with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing and dressing, as well as providing companionship. You can also look for services that offer 24/7 care if your relative requires extra supervision due to dementia or other health issues. You can also hire nurses and healthcare professionals who can help them at any moment. If you are wondering how you can find such reliable services then you can click here to explore services that are available in your area. Also, organizations such as the National Council for Aging Care are great resources for finding care.
4. Help organize their finances
Organizing their finances can be a difficult task for an elderly relative living alone. You can help out by setting up an online system for them so all their financial information is in one place. This could include tracking medical bills, retirement benefits, or any other accounts they have. You can also help them set up automatic payments for recurring expenses like utilities and credit card bills. In addition to setting up a digital system, you can also advise them on budgeting, saving, and investing. For example, you can offer to help them set up a retirement account or automated investment accounts. Also, you can help them find out if they are eligible for any benefits or programs that could help with their financial situation.
5. Assist with daily tasks:
Sometimes it’s the little things that can add up and make a big difference for an elderly relative living alone. Offer to shop for groceries or pick up prescriptions on their behalf. Consider arranging home delivery from a local grocery store so they don’t have to leave the house. You can also help by sending care packages filled with items they may need such as toiletries, books, movies, or other simple necessities. If your elderly relative is comfortable using technology, consider helping them set up services like Amazon Prime Now or Instacart so they can get quick access to whatever items they need.
6. Stay connected:
Above all, it’s important to stay connected with your elderly relative. Make sure you call or video chat on a regular basis so they can hear the sound of your voice and feel reassured that someone is there for them. Offer to help them learn how to use technology like Skype or FaceTime so it’s easier for them to stay in touch. If they are able, consider setting up social media accounts through which they can stay connected with friends and family as well as explore new hobbies or interests. Finally, if possible, arrange visits (especially during holidays) so you can be physically present with them throughout the year.
Caring for an elderly relative can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With the right resources and support, you can make sure your loved one is safe, healthy, and well taken care of. By leveraging technology such as video chat or online delivery services, it’s possible to stay connected with them without having to physically travel long distances. Additionally, providing assistance in areas like finances or daily tasks will go a long way toward making their life easier and more comfortable. Above all else remember that staying connected through regular conversations is key to showing your love and appreciation for them during this time in their lives.