Caring for Your Elderly Parents Through Distance

Distance and Flexibility Cause Challenges in Meeting the Needs of Your Loved One

You may live a few hours away from your loved ones or in many time zones. Today, in our mobile society family members are spread out geographically more than ever before. About 15% of caregivers in the U.S. are “long-distance” caregivers residing on average 450 miles away. Being able to express love and offer practical assistance may be an option for you through a patient advocate.

At Whitley Patient Advocates we are the children of aging parents. Daily we face the struggles of distance and need patient advocates to support our families.

We can be the support person bridging the gap between you and your loved ones, giving you peace of mind.

How Are You Going to Deal with Caring for Your Elderly Parents?

Do you have guilt and worry because of living away from your parents? Do you wonder what you’ll do if your parents need to be taken care of? Are you concerned with their living arrangements and if their needs are being taken care of? Do you have a loved one that has been diagnosed with a devastating illness? Do you have active children and a busy career?

Wondering how you’re going to be able to do it all can keep you up at night. This is the reality of most families these days and families still think that caring for their parents/loved ones is important. SO DO WE.

Here are a few tips to ease that burden

  1. Evaluate the situation. It’s OK to accept the fact that you can’t do everything for your parent. Realize that your strengths may be financial help such as bill payment and finance management. Coordination may be your strong suit as you could organize important documents, coordinate medical care, or arrange for checkups by friends and neighbors.
  2. Research options for living arrangements. Changes in health can require help that’s closer to a parent’s home. Sometimes, families can move closer to their parents or vice versa. If moving isn’t an option, in-home care can provide a much-needed level of assurance and peace of mind. Communities that cater to seniors are also a great resource that can provide 24/7 access to medical care, assistance with activities of daily living as well as programs and activities that include a built-in social network that can help to combat loneliness.
  3. Family meetings. Long-distance family meetings are possible with the use of phones, Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom. These platforms can provide the ability for everyone to meet at once and discuss with your loved one what their wishes and wants are so that everyone is on the same page.
  4. Plan visits. In-person visits with your loved ones are just as important for them as it is for you. If there is a primary caregiver, coordinate your visit with them to see how you can assist them or find out what your loved one needs. Join your loved ones in their hobbies or just simply relax and take a drive, go to a movie, play cards or just share a meal.
  5. Have an Emergency Plan. If your loved one experiences an accident or other emergency situation, having a plan in place to get there or having someone step in while you’re not there, such as a patient advocate, can make a huge difference. Distance between loved ones and just life, in general, can make getting to your senior loved one difficult. A patient advocate on your side can ease the burden and decrease the anxiety of the miles separating you and your loved one.
  6. Staying Connected. Some families have the ability to schedule conference calls with physicians or senior living community staff to receive current information about their loved one’s health and progress. Many times, trying to juggle family, home and long-distance monitoring of a loved one is not possible. A patient advocate can bridge that gap for you, gather the appropriate information and relay that information back to you at your convenience.

Everyone Needs an Advocate

We believe at Whitley Patient Advocates that Most times you can be your best advocate.

However Complicated healthcare is becoming the new normal, A crisis or complicated situation can happen fast. If this happens to you or your family, Who will be your patient advocate?

Whitley Patient Advocates are here to help, no one should ever feel that they cannot get what they need to live their best life