Long-distance caregivers often live more than an hour from the senior family member in their care. Although long-distance care is possible, an increased need for support can make it much more difficult to provide the required level of care. Fortunately, there are tools and strategies to help you manage elder care from afar. Here are some tips to consider:
Stay in Contact
It almost goes without saying, but regular communication can go a long way in helping you remain aware of needs and concerns. Nurturing the relationship itself can be a powerful way to maintain connection and meaning with your senior family member.
- Visit: When possible, a personal visit is often best. It allows you to observe conditions and gather information about what’s happening in the home in ways that aren’t fully possible otherwise.
- Call or Video Chat: Telephone calls and digital video chats are great ways to stay in touch. During your conversations, stay watchful for any potential issues in your senior family member’s health and well-being.
- Text Message or Email: For the digitally capable senior, email and texts are excellent ways to maintain brief touchpoints of communication. They provide microdoses of connection and reassurance.
Take Advantage of Tech
Senior-friendly technology has become a great asset to long-distance caregivers. Here are several gadgets that could prove useful:
- In-Home Monitoring and Sensors: Cameras are helpful in some cases but can often feel too intrusive. Instead, sensors can be installed to help monitor wellness. A bed sensor can provide insight into sleep patterns. A wearable device can bring insight into heart health and blood pressure.
- Voice Activated Devices: A support device such as Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant can help your senior family member with simple tasks. Placing a phone call or checking the weather can become a simple matter of asking the device to handle the task.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.