As your parents grow older, could they use a helping hand, a watchful eye or someone to check in on them during the day? Trying to assist them can be a challenge for any adult child. But if you’re living in another town and are handling the responsibilities of long-distance caregiving, it can seem overwhelming.
The trials of long-distance care
Here are a few of the challenges faced when caregiving reaches across the miles:
- Feeling emotional stress from continual worry about their parent’s well-being
- Struggle to balance caregiving responsibilities with work or other family needs
- Challenge to find someone who could provide healthy meals
- Trying to coordinate with someone who could help with light housekeeping
- Finding a service that could help with bathing or getting dressed
- Finding day programs, activities and transportation if parents are becoming isolated
- Coordinating medical appointments, transportation and accompaniment
- Finding balance between care and parents’ right to privacy and to make their own choices
- Trying to convince the parent to let them help with health and home decisions
- Feeling guilty or unsuccessful at trying to juggle all of the responsibilities
Steps you can take
Although moving yourself or your parent may seem like the simplest solution, that is not always possible or the best answer. But there are effective steps you can take.
Depending on the level of care needed and the abilities of your parent, you may want to consider these suggestions:
- Find a reputable home care service that can help with housekeeping and laundry.
- Search for a health care service to help with bathing, dressing, managing medications and accompanying the parent to their medical appointments.
- Look for a healthy food delivery service available in their area.
- Coordinate and communicate often with these caregivers and your parent.
- Create an emergency plan and include phone numbers of doctors and nearby neighbors.
The role assisted living can play in long-distance caregiving
There is one other solution where your loved one can be safe and well taken care of, all while being encouraged to live independently and to thrive.
And that is an assisted living community.
Consider the following benefits of a community, the services they provide and how they compare to what your parent might need. You may be surprised at how well they match up:
Maintenance-free private residence
Your parents will be able to live in their own private home and enjoy the same level of independence they do now. They’ll be free to make all of their own decisions, including when to go to bed, when to wake up, whether to entertain guests and how to spend their day.
Nutritious meals are provided
No more worries about whether your parent is still able to shop, cook or is eating healthy. An assisted living community takes care of all of this. Residents will have delicious food choices from a menu and if there are any special dietary needs, those are available as well.
Meet and make new friends
Having social interactions is just as important as the other elements of healthy living and it’s never been easier than when your parents make an assisted living community their home. The planned activities and common areas provide a natural setting to meet fellow residents.
Activities and social events
Communities typically prepare a monthly calendar of events for their residents so there is always something of interest for everyone. Having the opportunity to attend an art class, join others for a game of Bridge or enjoy an entertainment outing keeps residents engaged in life.
Scheduled transportation to medical appointments – and more
You won’t have to schedule or worry about how your parent will get to a medical appointment as assisted living communities are usually able to provide scheduled transportation. Your parents will also be able to safely get to off-site entertainment events and trips.
Another bonus of assisted living when caregiving for your parents
There’s another advantage that assisted living provides to long-distance caregivers and that is how it can eliminate, or at least lessen, your anxiety.
Imagine no longer worrying if your mom or dad may fall climbing the stairs. You’ll know their meals are healthy. You’ll also know they aren’t isolated and lonely. And you won’t be left to coordinate all of the services they need, from a distance.
You’ll also get to return to the role as daughter or son and relinquish your role as caregiver. Conversations won’t be trying to convince them to have more help come into the home. You also won’t need to play detective to see if they’re really eating well. Instead, you’ll hear the joy and energy in their voices and know they are safe.
Life at Tapestry Senior Living communities
If you’re a long-distance caregiver for your parents, we understand the weight you’re bearing and the stress you’re no doubt feeling. Knowing the services they need and trying to coordinate them from afar can seem almost impossible.
If your family decides that assisted living could be the right solution, we hope you’ll consider a Tapestry community. We think you’ll appreciate all the advantages that your loved one will enjoy and the benefits that also extend to you.
At Tapestry Senior Living communities, we provide not only assistance but the activities and amenities that contribute to a high quality of life. And our person-centered approach and services all play an important role in helping our residents remain engaged.
And you will be able to sleep better at night, knowing that your loved one is being cared for and supported in a compassionate and inviting community.
If you would like more information, we invite you to download our free guide and resource on how to decide between home and senior living, Should You Stay or Should You Go?
Our person-centered approach, services, amenities and activities all play an important role in helping your loved one and family live a meaningful and connected life. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a personal tour, please contact one of our advisors at a community near you.