Help seniors live independent at home with long distance caregiving could be the best way to love our aging parents.
Here’s our tips for long-distance caregivers to support independent living seniors. These come from our personal journey of being long-distance caregivers. Lessons we learned as long-distance caregivers.
Top 6 tips to help seniors live independently while being a long-distance caregiver.
1. Automate systems to help seniors live independent.
Keep a maintenance schedule in the same way you do for your own home. If you aren’t able to visit yourself, hiring help to ensure maintenance happens may be your only option.
Homeowner or Renter?
Are you a long-distance homeowner? It’s important to ensure that home maintenance happens regardless of if the senior forgets. If the senior is renting, establish a relationship with the landlord so they know the situation. The landlord may want to do more frequent checks.
2. Outsource and Subscribe for services such as biannual HVAC inspection and servicing, pest control, lawn care, etc.
See if the HVAC company is willing to change filters on a regular basis. Some heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical companies offer memberships that come with the perk of biannual inspections and tuneups. They may also offer discounts if repairs are needed or if there is an after hours service call.
3. Utilize online portals to help seniors live independent.
If you’re aging parent allows you to help set up online accounts, you can easily monitor accounts from a distance. Consider setting up online accounts for: utilities, subscriptions, doctors’ offices, banking, etc. You’ll thank us when there are billing issues or memory lapses about appointments. We set up the online portals for doctor offices for our aging parent who has memory loss issues. This was so helpful as a long-distance caregiver. If you want more of our tips for doctor visits as a long-distance caregiver, check out our lessons learned here.
4. Hire a cleaning company if possible.
Whether it’s biweekly or monthly cleanings it can help make sure your loved one is living in a sanitary home. If even more help is needed, consider a weekly cleaning service.
5. Good health and well-being help seniors live independently.
Groups such as Meals on Wheels ensure seniors who live independently at home with long distance caregivers are eating healthy. We want them to eat more than just TV dinners or in our case a bowl of cereal.
Help seniors live independent by encouraging them to get active in the community. Senior centers and other groups depending on their interests provide opportunities for friendship and exercise. Encouraging them to eat healthy and to exercise will help keep their mobility and minds active.
Know that it’s okay to use services like Visiting Angels when you know some in-person care is needed. Getting help doesn’t make you a bad long-distance caregiver. It means you’re aware of needs and ensuring they’re met.
5. Know at least some of your aging parents’ friends and neighbors.
Who could you call who’s local to do a wellness check? Who is a local friend who can help when technology malfunctions? What if issues arise where there isn’t a dedicated repair person who you can hire? It may be worthwhile to develop a connection with a trustworthy handyman when you are visiting. Consider giving a spare key to a trusted local friend just in case a wellness check is needed. Or, better yet, invest in a keypad lock. There are even options you can lock and unlock from your phone in case you need to let someone local inside to check on your senior.
6. Utilize technology.
Many options are available now that allow us to “check-in” with seniors living alone. These don’t even require them to answer a phone. While the emergency call buttons are still options many utilize, there are other resources to consider.
There is a special deal running right now for new Amazon Echo Dot customers to purchase one with a month of free Amazon Music Unlimited for only $5! We use these throughout our home. You can even “drop in” without your senior needing to do anything to answer if they aren’t answering their phone and you’re worried. This special pricing is only running through February 14, 2022. These include security cameras or devices like Alexa devices or Facebook portal. Remember to use these devices with discretion keeping your loved one’s safety in mind. If you install a wireless doorbell like Ring it is possible to link these to your own account. This way you can help make sure your aging parents aren’t victims of fraudulent solicitations.
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I sometimes suggest products that are helpful. It doesn’t cost you any extra to buy from one of these links. I do earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. These are products our family actually uses.
How long-distance caregivers can still help seniors live independently
After all, they worked hard to help us become independent. As long-distance caregivers we want to help our aging parents remain independent. We also worry about their safety and health. Are you new on this journey of long-distance caregiving? Maybe you’ve just visited for a holiday and you realize some things have been overlooked since your last visit.