Living too far away or working long hours should not be an excuse to abandon contact with ageing parents, especially in our technology-driven world. However, not everyone can take advantage of all the opportunities of our time, and our loved ones are often the victims of that.
Our elderly relatives often feel forgotten and lonely. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we tend to neglect elderly parent care and maintain relationships with them. That’s why we suggest ways of staying in touch and supporting your parents in their everyday life, even if you live far away from them. Here are the basics of distance care for elderly parents.
Why should we stay in touch with older relatives and parents?
Our distant relatives and parents undergo considerable life changes as they get older. Withdrawal from the labour market and the consequent loss of community, health problems often making it difficult to move around, reduced physical strength, making older people vulnerable to robbery and theft and, last but not least, the imminent passing away of friends and family – all these factors make our relatives feel lonely and socially isolated.
Feelings of permanent loneliness, on the other hand, can turn into psychological disorders. Lonely older people are at risk of apathy, insomnia, depression, anxiety and eating disorders, which, if neglected, can only lead to a reduced quality of life, and even suicide. This is precisely why it is the responsibility of younger generations not only to communicate and stay in touch with their close seniors but to provide good quality elderly parents care. They used to be the ones who took care of us, so it’s time to return the favour.
Elderly parents care 101 – how to make the lives of our older relatives easier
A moment to consider providing elderly parents with care comes in every adult’s life. Therefore, below you can find some of the most important steps to start to help and care for elderly parents.
Identify senior’s needs
Before you set out to help, you should get an overview of the situation. To do this, have a frank conversation with your senior and observe them a little. Also, familiarise yourself with the elderly person’s surroundings – look for signs such as a sloppy appearance, neglected personal hygiene or dirty home. They would tell you what first steps elderly parents care to take.
Consider your options
Sometimes a loved one’s condition allows them to live independently, and the senior just needs help with heavy shopping or a lift – in which case you can help them yourself, if time allows, or offer shopping by delivery or uber.
Often, however, we don’t have the time or energy to do this. Then it is worth considering other ways of elderly parents care. You can choose between a nursing home or hiring a live-in carer – a nursing home is an expensive option and subject to the shock of a change of environment, so the help of a live-in carer is strongly recommended. Such a person provides security, support and companionship.
Find reliable elderly parents care professional
If you’ve decided to hire a live-in carer then be sure to use a proven agency that checks references, and experience and does a background check on their staff – this is the safest option.
Ensure safety at home
The last of the primary ways to provide elderly parents care is to secure their homes. To do this, it is a good idea to install special elderly aids, such as special grab bars in the bathroom or lowered worktops in the kitchen, and to secure the home against break-ins – there are lots of different gadgets and alarms online that will effectively deter the wrongdoers.
Tips on how to stay in touch with elderly relatives and parents
Here are some practical tips to help you with elderly parents’ care and stay in touch with your loved ones regardless of the distance between you.
Teach your senior to use smartphones and the Internet
Nowadays, not many people have time to visit their loved ones every day. Instead, everyone should make time for a phone call or, preferably, a video conversation. This is the easiest way to keep your parents safe and stay in touch with them.
Therefore, teach the senior citizen in your life the basics of smartphone use and conferencing programmes.
Every major city has special classes for seniors wanting to get to grips with technology, and special easy-to-use retiree phones with big buttons are sold for the reluctant.
Plan senior visits when you can
There’s no denying it, few things promote relationship building and communication like spending time together. Therefore, try to plan visits to your senior, invite your loved ones to visit you and organise trips together. It will mean the world to them. Guaranteed.
Encourage your senior to use social media
More active and tech-savvy loved ones are sure to learn to use social media with ease too. They are extremely easy to use, and using them can become a real bridge between generations – it may keep your grandparents in touch with your children and their ones.
Elderly parents care – conclusion
We hope you take the above advice and remember to stay in touch with your ageing parents and loved ones. And if you know you don’t live far away, we heartily recommend that you consider hiring a live-in carer to provide safety, companionship and support to relatives that you are unable to. Do not let your parents be left alone with this.