When a senior loved one lives far away, it can be difficult to ensure their needs are taken care of. For some, the expense and time needed to travel back and forth is overwhelming, which is why many people rely on technology and services to help them make sure that everyday tasks are made as easy as possible.
If your loved one has health or mobility issues, it might be stressful to think of leaving them out-of-state to handle things on their own, so it’s a good idea to make sure they have all the resources they need to get help when it’s required. Look for senior services that will assist with transportation, and think about investing in a medical alert system in case of an emergency.
Of course, there are smaller, everyday things to think about, as well; your loved one may need help remembering to take medication or going to the grocery store. Luckily, there are several apps and websites designed specifically to help seniors with these challenges, and they’ll make your life a lot easier, as well.
Anyone can be forgetful, but for many seniors, it can be dangerous. Fortunately, there are apps that will help the user keep up with medication and when to take it, remind them where they parked their car, and even help them keep track of finances. When downloaded onto a smartphone, these apps can change the way your loved one faces daily challenges and will give you peace of mind, as well. Try Pillboxie, Park ‘n’ Forget, and Mint, or check to see if your loved one’s bank offers a free mobile app that will allow them to keep track of their balance and even deposit checks from home.
With technology as advanced as it is, there’s something for everyone these days no matter what their needs are. For seniors who have mobility issues or who don’t drive, look into a nearby Uber service to help your loved one get to where they need to go. There are also senior living facilities and buses operated by the city that supply rides to seniors who need to get to doctor appointments or physical therapy. Do some research on local facilities that offer these services and make sure your loved one will have access to their information. For tips on how to get started, check out the detailed guide Neptune Society has put together.
Keep them social
Staying social and vital in the community is helpful for most seniors and can even help prevent complications from Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and anxiety. Help your loved one stay social by looking for ways they can get out and enjoy the fresh air with friends–such as in a gardening club or exercise group–or getting involved in the community. Many seniors also find comfort in a church environment, and that’s another great way to help them stay active.
It can be enormously helpful for you to check in several times a week, either by phone or by a video messaging service like Skype. Knowing that they have someone who cares and supports them is a big deal to seniors, especially if they’re living alone, and it will give you a chance to find out what sort of issues they may be having, if any.
If possible, make in-person visits now and then, too. It’s much easier to see how your loved one is living this way; in fact, says Charles Puchta, author of The Aging America Resource Guide, this is really the only way you’ll be able to see whether there are unpaid bills piling up or to check in on their diet and ability to take any medications. Being able to see these problems with your own eyes will help you determine whether or not your loved one needs more help than you can give from afar.
Helping a loved one in another state can be stressful, so it’s important to remember to take care of yourself, as well. Get plenty of rest and eat well-balanced meals; keep stress to a minimum, if possible. In doing so, you’ll be ensuring that you will be your best self for your loved one’s benefit.
*Photo via Pixabay by Stevepb