Caring for Older Loved Ones When You’re Far Away
August 10, 2015
Long Distance Caregiving
When suddenly faced with caring for a loved one when you live many miles away, it can be overwhelming and worrisome. Whether it’s your parents, grandparents or a loved one that is in need of in-home care or simply in need of some extra attention to support an independent lifestyle, it’s hard to know where to start to find the care they need, locally. Long distance caring giving can be very difficult but Moorings Park Community Health is here to assist with any senior home care services and life care management needs.
Having an advocate on hand can really make the difference and a Life Care Manager can be your eyes, ears, and help when your loved one needs it most.
The best approach is to be proactive before there is a need by educating yourself and your family to prepare ahead of time.
- Discuss future care needs with your loved one and family members
- Prepare the necessary legal and medical documents should an emergency arise, ie: Power of Attorney, Advanced Directives, etc.
- Create a contact list and support system of your loved one’s physicians, therapists, hospitals, pharmacies, caregivers, urgent care facilities, and support groups etc. to establish a comfort zone within the family.
- Consider working with a local Geriatric Care Manager and a Life Care Management program that can be your eyes, ears, and in-person contact with your loved one at the Emergency Room, medical appointments, etc. to be their care advocate when you cannot be there in person.
Does My Loved One Need Care?
You can figure out if your loved one needs extra care by answering the following questions:
- Do you worry that your loved one is taking their medications correctly, eating enough nutritional food, meeting with friends or participating in social activities?
- Does your parent now live alone without a local support network, in case an emergency arises?
- Has your loved one’s physical and/or emotional health been declining?
- Do you feel your loved one needs someone locally who can take them to their medical appointments and advocate for their healthcare needs?
- Has managing your loved one’s care remotely become difficult, leaving you with a sense of uncertainty?
Answering yes to any of the above questions, may indicate it is time to let others help. It is a gift to your loved one to know your strengths and your limitations and to know when to seek assistance.
Can We Afford It?
Home care services that are non-medical are not covered by Medicare and are generally paid for privately. Sometimes long term care insurance will cover these services.
Depending on the amount of care needed, Life Care Management services can be affordable and bring priceless peace-of-mind, ensuring your loved one has a dedicated Life Care Manager available to meet them at the hospital in an emergency and stay with them for a determined amount of time. Ensuring that your loved one has an advocate with them until you can arrive.
Want to learn more?
Give us a call at 239-643-9121 and ask about a Life Care Management consultation for your loved one.