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4 Tips for Caring for Aging Parents from a Distance

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Caring for aging parents from a distance is easier with these tips.

Living far away from older loved ones can make the need for home care easier to overlook. The truth is, however, many adult children of senior parents don’t even realize that Mom and Dad need assistance until they come home for a visit or spend prolonged time together during the course of the holidays. If you’re a family caregiver who lives far apart from your aging parents, it ends up being that much more pressing to have a plan in place for crisis situations and care.

New Horizons In-Home Care’s experts in elder care in Eugene, Oregon and the surrounding area have developed these helpful strategies to assist those caring for aging parents from a distance.

Plan in Advance

When you can’t just drive across town to help, it is important to have family dialogues about the “what ifs” that might occur with your loved ones, like:

  • Living situation choices determined by severity and who is involved – think through some scenarios for debate; for example, a fractured knee calling for a rehab stay.
  • How will you recognize when “it’s time” to make a change? What would this look like?
  • Financial concerns in providing care, such as how much time off work can family members afford to miss? What types of financial assistance might be accessible?
  • Advance directives for making decisions: make sure all is in order and retain a copy for yourself.

Re-evaluate Along the Way

When you can’t see your senior parents every day, it can be tempting to want to ignore the often uncomfortable business of assessing health and wellbeing in favor of simply enjoying each other’s company, but it’s necessary to regularly give thought to and evaluate how your senior parents are really doing.

  • Identify the RN who is working with your loved ones’ health care provider and stay in communication with that person.
  • Make sure there is a HIPAA Release of Information Form on file at all of your parents’ physicians’ offices so you can talk openly with the medical professionals, and keep one for yourself.
  • Have frequent phone contact with your senior loved ones to check in and help them resolve any issues.
  • Maintain a list of the informal local resources: neighbors, friends, other relatives who can be part of your aging parents’ support network. Touch base regularly with that network and make sure they know how to get in touch with you and that you encourage their calls.

Identify When to Travel and When to Stay Home

Issues are bound to arise, at times at a moment’s notice. You cannot travel for each problem, so make a decision beforehand when you will travel and when you will use other resources to provide support.

  • Ask your parents if this is a genuine medical or care emergency. As a part (not all) of your decision-making, ask the physician, social worker, or nurse for more details and his/her suggestion on whether you should travel in.
  • Could somebody else locally take care of the issue at hand or eyeball the scenario for you?
  • It’s OK to go there just to put your mind at ease as well. If staying home and being worried will be less effective for you, then maybe you should go.

Consider Using New Horizons In-Home Care

In-home senior care can not only provide excellent care for older individuals, it can also give long-distance family members a greater sense of peace and connection. At New Horizons In-Home Care, our professional care providers have specialized training and can:

  • Evaluate the situation
  • Recognize problems, gaps, strengths and resources
  • Keep track of health, activity, nutrition, etc.
  • Screen and arrange for other services and assistance
  • Work together with financial, legal and medical providers
  • Communicate regularly with family members
  • And much more

If your aging loved ones are in need of elder care in Eugene, Oregon or the surrounding area, contact the professional caregivers at New Horizons In-Home Care at 541-687-8851. We treat your family like our own.

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J. M. May 4, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
The people I've worked with have been so straightforward and honest. They really care about how it's going. The caregiver is very understanding, knowledgeable. He can see ahead and makes some suggestions. I can leave if I need without the least bit of worry. He is really proactive, I know he cares and trust him impeccably.

Pamela V. April 9, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
I like how nice the caregivers are. The office staff is prompt on getting somebody out here when it is needed and the caregivers make me feel better than what I am. They are willing to do anything I ask of them.

Barbara W. February 2, 2020

Corvallis, Or Client
We are happy to have them because they do well. They come when they are supposed to and do what they are supposed to. They do things that we didn't know we needed. They assess the situation well and plan for the right care. They are very dependable and thorough and are very friendly and helpful. We're very satisfied.

Candice S. April 1, 2020

Salem, Or Client
They are very helpful and on time with things. They do what they say they are going to do. They will talk to me and help me when needed. I don't have to wait forever to pick up my calls and they are quick to get back to me. It has been positive.

Sharon R. April 01, 2020

Salem, Or Client
The caregivers will do anything that we ask of them. They have been very convenient. and are able to be here and do things for us that we cannot do.

O.H. February 14, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
The caregiver they sent me is awesome. People in the office staff are friendly and they know what they are talking about. The case manager, is a wonderful person and she knows her job. If I need something, all I have to do is call them.

Mary B. April 01, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
It has taken a great load off of our shoulders, especially mine. It has helped my health as well and gives my husband some social time. They are really good at scheduling around our schedule and are matched very well to his needs. We always recommend them to others who need care.

Denise B. March 02, 2020

Salem, Or Client
My caregiver is wonderful. I wish I could have more time. They do so much for me that I can't do for myself. They spend a few minutes to talk with me and be social. They are very open, caring, patient, outgoing, understanding, and kind people. If I need help with anything they will always help me. They are so helpful. I don't know what I'd do without their services.

Gail P. February 13, 2020

Florence Or,
The office staff found the right person for us. They check in regularly. What we need is someone who could do the cleaning and we have that. I like the fact that they have provided the kind of assistance that we needed. The caregiver we have is excellent.

Barbara N. February 12, 2020

Eugene, Or Client
They are courteous, respectful, and serve good food, and do everything we ask. They did all of their duties and everything was done in a timely manner. They were very helpful.
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