Being a caretaker is a demanding role, whether you live five minutes or five hours away from your loved ones. If you have the good fortune to live near your parents as they age, you may be able to pop in for lunch once a week or help with yard work on the weekends. But if you live far away, that is not an option. Perhaps your parents have moved to a memory care community in Cary, NC, and that’s far from where you are residing. Distance shouldn’t stop you from finding ways to support your parents from afar. Here are some tips to help you!
Maintain Regular Contact
One of the best things you can do is stay in regular contact, whether that means setting up weekly phone calls or video chats. This will give you a chance to catch up on what’s going on in their lives and see how they’re really doing. If possible, plan to visit in person on a regular basis, even if it’s just for a weekend. These quality interactions will mean the world to your parents—and you.
Think About What You Can Do
When you live far away from your parents, it can be difficult to know how to best support them. You want to give your loved ones living in the memory care community the very best but distance and time prevent you from doing so. It’s alright that you can’t do everything for them. Instead, think about your strengths and what you can offer. If you are doing well financially, one way you can show your care is by helping to pay your loved ones’ memory care expenses. This can be a big help to them, especially if they are on a fixed income or are struggling to make ends meet. In addition, this shows that you are responsible and want to help take care of them. This can be a great way to stay connected to your parents even if you can’t be there in person all the time.
Arrange for a Family Meeting
If everyone in your family can’t meet up in person, arrange for a virtual meeting. Apps like Skype, Zoom and Google Meet make online meetups simple and convenient. This gives everyone a chance to share their concerns and ideas about how to best support your parents. The meeting can also be used to develop a plan for future care, including how to handle finances, medical decisions, and living arrangements. By taking the time to meet as a family, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to caring for your parents.
Plan a Visit
Though many memory care communities provide a wide range of recreational activities to keep your loved one socially active, nothing beats spending quality time with family. Make time to join them for a meal in the memory care community or bring them out to a nice dinner. Find out how they are doing and if there is anything you can do to help.