Recommended: Use a voucher code MAS5385 to save an extra 5% when shopping for supplements on iHerb.

As road technology improves and our world get smaller more and more young people are moving away to other cities and other states after college to pursue careers.  Over time they start families and before you know it, it you have an elderly parent that needs more hands on care, but what can you do from where you are?  This is an all too common situation, and one that my wife and I recently faced.  In order to help you through this transition period, here are 5 ways to remotely care for an elderly family member.

Arrange House Care

The first thing that becomes more difficult for elderly family members to take care of is the daily activities around the house such as cleaning and taking care of the yard.  Help them out by setting up a local cleaning company to come into the house and clean things up once per week.  This will relieve the burden of the family member from having to do daily chores that they just might not have energy for.

Lawn care also becomes dangerous as parents and other loved ones get older.  Have a company come out and mow and trim the lawn, so that dad or grandpa doesn’t have to go out there and risk falling down and breaking a hip while keeping the yard looking respectable.

Establish an Accountability Neighbor

Get to know your loved one’s neighbors, and get in touch with them to see if they can check in a few days per week.  My wife and I had a loving neighbor that lived across the street from our family member, and they had a routine with opening the curtains.  Our family member was supposed to open the curtains every morning by 9:00 AM.  If the neighbor could look across the street and see the curtains open, then they knew that everything was ok.

Maybe a neighbor of your family member could be the accountability neighbor for you, helping out with bringing them the mail every day, or establishing a routine with regular contact.  Even if no favors are done, it will give you peace of mind to know that someone is checking on your loved one every few days and can call in case there’s a problem.

Build a Regular Routine

Another key step is to help your loved one establish regular routines.  Call around for social activities in the area to see what you can help them get involved in, such as playing cards with a group of people once per week, or playing golf, or going to a scrap booking group or reading books to kids at the library.  No matter what’s involved in the routine, the more they can stick to a routine the less minds can wander and they can keep from getting depressed.  By focusing on mental health and helping others this will help them stay active and feeling alive.

Coordinate Meal Planning

Another thing that we found to become more difficult for our family member is regularly preparing meals.  In order to aid in this process, my wife and I made larger meals and bought a series of single serving freezer safe containers, then froze all of our leftovers into single serving meals.  When we visited our loved one every few weeks or once a month, we labeled all the meals and restocked his freezer.  All he had to do was take one dish out, microwave the meal for a few minutes, and supper was made.

Plan for the future

The final step to remotely taking care of an elderly loved one is to plan for the future.  If you loved one is still able to safely live at home now, then understand that it won’t be long when a change will need to be made.  We did our research and found a local facility that we could safely trust to take care of him and to give him the kind of rehabilitation and long-term care that he needed once he was no longer safe at home.

No matter what stage your loved one is at, it’s important to understand their needs even if they are in denial of what they truly need and what they can truly do to take care of themselves.

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Recommended: Use a voucher code MAS5385 to save an extra 5% when shopping for supplements on iHerb.

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