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Long-distance caregivers are more common than you think. Generally speaking, it’s common for seniors to live in one part of the country while their families live and work elsewhere. Regardless of what keeps you apart, caregiving can actually be more than doable by remembering these few tips.
Technology is your friend.
Technology has made the world smaller in many ways. With a plethora of electronic gadgets and internet connectivity available these days, it’s now so much easier to connect with loved ones from afar, making tech an invaluable resource when it comes to long-distance caregiving. Many devices like tablets are senior-friendly with easy-to-use interfaces and features like larger screens. These gadgets can then be leveraged in many ways, such as using video chat to check in on your senior loved ones’ well-being or even attend their medical appointments virtually.
As a bonus, there are countless deals on tablets from trusted brands like Apple, Lenovo, and Samsung (to name a few), making them great investments that won’t put a huge dent on your own household budget.
The Senior List suggests loading your loved one’s phone or tablet with some senior-friendly apps, like Pandora, Zoom, The Weather Channel, and MediSafe Medication Reminder. Thanks to some easily accessible tech, your loved one will have support and entertainment at his or her fingertips.
Help is available for those who ask for it.
Probably the biggest challenge of being a long-distance caregiver is not being physically present to take care of tasks. However, there are, of course, ways around such a hiccup. In fact, the National Institute on Aging points out that there are countless professionals in any given area that provide a plethora of #local">services, ranging from house cleaning to meal deliveries and so much more.
While you may not be around to keep a close eye on them, you can also keep tabs on them through neighbors, friends and even
tracking devices like location tracking or medical alert systems.
It goes without saying that it’s more than prudent to take advantage of these resources. Not only will this ensure that all your loved ones’ needs are taken care of, but alleviate your worries as well.
Your time is the greatest gift.
Last but definitely not least, the best gift you can give your loved ones is a simple one, and that is your time. This can also be a challenge with your own minutiae of daily living. It’s important to check in on your loved ones with a phone or video call to make sure that they are safe, comfortable, and healthy. Even more important is routinely visiting in person, not only to check on current conditions but also to provide the comfort of your presence.
You can give the gift of time in other ways, as well. You already do so when you research services that benefit them and care facilities, as well as when you educate yourself on their conditions and, by extension, repercussions. Ditto when you take care of their bills, sit-in on medical appointments, and the like.
Indeed, caregiving for a senior loved one from afar will be hard. However, the main thing you can do is to improvise and leverage the right resources. So bear these tips in mind to provide the right kind and amount of loving care to your senior wards—without putting an undue burden on yourself, too.
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