Living far away from older loved ones can make the need for home care easier to miss. In fact, many adult children of older parents don’t realize that Mom and Dad need help until they return home to visit or spend extended time together over the holiday season. If you are a family caregiver who lives far apart from your aging parents, it ends up being that much more important to have a plan in place for emergency situations and care.
The Austin and surrounding area home care experts at CareFor have compiled these helpful recommendations to assist in managing elderly parents’ care needs.
When you can’t just drive across town to help out, it is necessary to have family dialogues about the “what ifs” that could occur with your loved ones, like:
- Living situation choices contingent on severity and who is involved – run through some situations for discussion; for instance, a fractured hip requiring a rehab stay.
- How will you identify when “it’s time” to make a change? What would this look like?
- Finance matters in caregiving, like how much time off work can family members afford to miss? What types of outside financial support may be accessible?
- Advance directives for decision-making: ensure that all is in order and keep a copy with you.
Assess Along the Way
When you can’t see your senior loved ones each day, it can be tempting to want to overlook the often uncomfortable business of evaluating health and wellbeing in favor of enjoying each other’s company, but it’s necessary to routinely take into consideration and evaluate how your aging parents are really doing.
- Identify the registered nurse who works with your loved ones’ doctor and maintain communication with that person.
- Be sure there is a HIPAA Release of Information Form on file at all of your parents’ physicians’ offices so you can talk openly with the medical professionals, and keep one for yourself.
- Have frequent telephone calls with your parents to check in and help them resolve any concerns.
- Keep a list of the informal local resources: neighbors, friends, any other relatives who can be part of your aging parents’ support system. Maintain that network and let them know how to get in touch with you and that you welcome their calls.
Determine When to Travel and When to Stay Home
Problems are certain to occur, at times at a moment’s notice. You can’t travel for each issue, so determine in advance when you will travel and when you will utilize other resources to provide support.
- Ask if this is a real medical or care crisis. As a part (not all) of your decision-making, ask the healthcare provider, social worker, or nurse for details and his/her opinion on whether you should travel in.
- Could somebody else locally help with the issue at hand or eyeball the scenario for you?
- It’s OK to go there just to put your mind at ease as well. If remaining home and stressing is going to be less effective for you, then maybe you should go.
Consider Engaging CareFor
In-home senior care can not only provide excellent care for older individuals, it can also give long-distance family members a greater sense of peace and connection. At CareFor, our professional Austin senior care staff have specialized training and can:
- Evaluate the situation
- Recognize problems, gaps, strengths and resources
- Keep track of health, activity, nutrition, etc.
- Screen and arrange for other services and assistance
- Work with financial, legal and medical providers
- Communicate regularly with family members
- And much more
If your aging loved ones are in need of home care in Austin or other surrounding areas in Texas, contact the care professionals at CareFor online or by calling our care team at (512) 338-4533. We treat your family like our own.