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Tips On How To Care For Elderly Parents From A Long Distance

When you are young, your parents took care of you. They fed you every day and treated you with love while you lived under their roof.

Now that you are an adult, you venture out into the world and start caring for yourself. You establish your own home and have your own family.

However, in the back of your mind, you don’t forget about your elderly parents, who you want to care for. How would you care for them from a long distance?

Here are some of the tips to get started:

Long-Distance Caregiver: Finance

An option for starting to care for elderly parents from a long distance is to become a long-distance caregiver. If you live an hour or more away from your parents, you would be considered a long-distance caregiver.

This can allow you to take on the responsibility of helping your parents pay and manage their bills. If you are afraid of having your elderly parents home alone without any care, you have several options.

You may wish to arrange and hire someone for in-home care. This means that you can hire professional nurses and caregivers that will come to your parent’s home and offer them health services.

If having a nurse for a specific time during the day is not enough, you can also help them locate a full-time nursing home or a skilled nursing facility. Nursing homes provide professional medical care for elders, which includes full time supervision. These homes also provide assistance for essential activities and offer three full meals a day. The elderly live there permanently and are being taken care of full time.

It may sound inconvenient or even coldhearted to place your elderly parents in a nursing home, however it is for their benefit. You can also visit your parents in the nursing home to provide emotional care and reassurance if you are worried about them becoming lonely. 

Emotional Support

Though you may live far away, you can still provide emotional support for your parents. The best way to provide this type of support is to let them know that you are there for them by taking care of their basic needs (whether it is financial or legal matters).

In other words, you are providing a sense of security for them. You can do this by calling them once a week to keep them updated about your life and speaking with them about their affairs. This makes them feel as if you are there with them every step of the way.

In a more practical sense, you can appoint them with a primary caregiver and instruct them with their caregiving duties, one of which can be emotional support. You can do some research about their health issues and give them suggestions about the kind of medicine, medical plans, or insurance claims they can make.

Making sure that they are up to date with their situation is the best way to offer them care and love, so they know that you are actively involved in their life. You should also keep your family and friends updated in the case that you may need their assistance if an emergency comes. 

How to get started as a caregiver?

To get started as a long-distance caregiver, you will want to familiarize yourself with your elderly parents’ health conditions.

What kind of illnesses do they have? What medical plan is necessary? Are they eligible for Medicaid assistance? Do they have any insurance?

These questions will help guide you in the right direction to help provide your parents the best possible care. The next step would be to appoint a primary caregiver for them. This role can be filled by a family member such as your siblings or cousins.

The primary caregiver provides general and personal care for your parents, while also monitoring their health. By assuming such a role, you are essentially taking care of your parents from afar while the primary caretaker has the same role, just in close proximity. 

If your elderly parents live in New York and you would like to ensure that you are doing the most that you can for them, hire a registered New York elder law attorney for guidance.

Even if you live in Nevada, this type of lawyer will be able to make sure that your role as a caregiver runs smoothly and all of the necessary documents are prepared in the state which your parents live in.

Written by the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn and Associates, an estate planning and elder law attorney in New York.