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Caring for a Senior Loved One from Afar

By November 28, 2017Moments
This article is courtesy of Marie Villeza of elderimpact.org.

It can be hard to feel like you’re giving the proper care to an aging parent if you live far away. However, with today’s technology and innovations, you can help out and stay involved; possibly allowing them to maintain their independence longer.

Here are some apps and services that will ensure your life and the life of your older loved one are made a little easier.

Picture phones. Alzheimers.net recommends mobile phones that are “Specifically designed for people who cannot remember phone numbers and may need to contact someone quickly.” Photos of familiar faces can be a good option in place of traditional phone numbers which can be hard to see and easily confuse someone with Alzheimer’s.

Delivered groceries. It is now common for one to be able to order online at their local grocery store and have their groceries either delivered to their door or ready for pick up. Additionally, food services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron provide just the amount of ingredients required to make specific meals so they don’t have to worry about measuring or shopping.

Pet care. If your loved one has an animal companion and has limited mobility, consider hiring a dog walker who will come to them and make sure their pet gets the exercise they need. There are also at home grooming and maid agencies to keep everything clean and neat as well as animal friendly car services to take them on any vet visits.

Social media. Apps like Facebook and Instagram are always popular with older people who live far away from family members, as it helps them stay up to date with your life and the lives of extended family and friends. Moments they may have missed can be relived through photos or videos, and they can stay in touch with you more often than they could with just a phone call.

Video chat. Skype and Facetime are a great way to see your loved one often and determine for yourself how they are doing. Nothing brightens up a grandparent’s day more than seeing the faces of their grandchildren.

Transportation. Directional devices with visual aids and voice navigation such as a GPS can be useful if your elder is still able to drive but tends to get lost easier. However, car services like Lyft and Uber are also available in most centres to transport them wherever they may need to go, especially if they live closer to an urban area. All they need to do is download the app and call for a ride or type in the address.

Ereaders and audiobooks. Perhaps the older person in your life enjoys reading but is no longer able to hold heavy books for long periods of time or cannot see the words clearly enough. In this case, a tablet is often a good replacement as it is light and offers ebooks in prints that are larger and easier to read. You can also purchase audiobooks for them to listen to if they are unable to see.

Home Care. A variety of services can be provided by home care agencies to help a senior with tasks you are not available to help with. Even providing companionship to stave off loneliness, home care agencies can be hired for a few hours per week or daily, depending on need.

Life Alert and MedMinder (a pill dispenser that reminds you and only unlocks when it is time to take your medicine) are other popular safety precautions for those that live afar from their older loved ones.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Classic LifeCare can help with a number of the ideas listed above, including providing services like housekeeping, homemaking, grocery shopping to name a few. Visit https://classiclifecare.com/services/ for more information about the services we offer.