Although technology might help you stay connected to your loved ones from far away, it can be challenging to deal with the distance when your family member has dementia.
If your love is living with dementia and you cannot live near them to provide care, you’re not alone. Approximately 15 percent of Americans who care for older family members are long-distance caregivers. Since the distance adds a set of challenges, you can take some steps to help your parent from wherever you are.
Seek Professional Support
Being a caregiver is challenging when you don’t live close, so professional caregiving services can ease your mind and keep your loved one safe. Moving your aging parent into homes for dementia patients can allow them to live in a secure home-like environment while aging in place.
When you seek support from memory care homes like SageCare, recognized as one of the ten best retirement homes in Toronto, you won’t have to worry about your parent even if you’re miles away. A senior with dementia requires specialized care that you, unfortunately, cannot provide from a distance.
Plan Regular Visits
Even if your loved one receives the care they need, they might feel lonely if they don’t see their family. If you live too far, it might not be possible for you to visit too frequently. However, creating a schedule or list of days you visit can help you stick to the plan and reduce the chances of forgetting to visit.
Regular visits, when possible, can help your family member feel safer and happier, which is good for their mental and physical health.
Regularly Assess Independence
Things can change in a short time. Your parents might be different from how they were the last time you met them. Continually assess their independence by asking their relatives or caregivers about their daily schedules. You can ask them to keep an eye on whether they can manage medications, bathe alone, and whether they can cook or not.
Stay Connected with Technology
Although your aging parent might not be tech-savvy, try to teach them how to answer your calls and look at photos or videos. You can set up their phone in an easily manageable way. In addition, you may also ask people around them to help your parent out when you call. Many older adults are embracing technology. A study found that adults over the age of 65 are one of the fastest-growing age groups to adopt digital technology.
It is crucial to stay in touch with technology to prevent your loved one from feeling lonely. Regular video calls will also allow you to notice their surroundings and observe if anything looks unusual. You can also assess their level of independence based on their clothing and their ability to follow conversations.
Ask Friends & Neighbors for Support
It can be beneficial to have eyes and ears on the ground when far away from your parent. Ask your friends and neighbors to check on your parent and provide you with updates. Hearing their perspectives will help you understand if you need to enlist further care for your parent.
Being a caregiver from a distance might feel like an overwhelming task. So, it is okay to lean on friends, family, and retirement homes for support. Take some time to plan your caregiving process and refrain from stressing yourself out.