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Long Distance Care Giving

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As an adult child, it’s difficult managing the care and living situation of parents as they age especially when living out of town. When our parents grow older, the responsibilities of care giving change. The burden of care shifts from the parent to the child. Sometimes it’s important to acknowledge that moving mom and/or dad to an assisted living or other senior living community where help can be provided may be a welcomed solution.

At The Peninsula, an assisted living community in Hollywood, we often find many elderly are resistant to moving back north to be closer to their children. The adult child may say, “come and live with us” but the parent recognizes this would not be an ideal situation. They like their independence and simply are comfortable living in Florida. They do like knowing, however, you extended the offer.

Here are some tips for long-distance caregivers:

Often, a parent may simply say they are fine, not wanting to share their difficulties since they perceive he/she will be a burden. It takes a little detective work to learn if a parent is in fact really “fine” or if some assistance is needed.

Try calling around dinner time and asking what’s cooking, rather than asking a yes or no question, as to if they ate today. If their response is a bowl of cereal or they can’t remember, nutritional factors become a concern.

Similarly, ask what they did today to learn if they were able to get out of their home. If the response is frequently, “I just didn’t feel like doing anything,” they may be suffering from depression and need more care.

Spend a weekend or holiday visiting them at home to check on the safety of the house and its condition. Ask yourself questions such as these:

  • Is the refrigerator filled with spoiled food?

  • Are there staples such as canned soup and cereal in cabinets?

  • Are repairs needed?

  • Are stairs manageable?

  • Are there tripping hazards such as throw rugs, displaced furniture or clutter?

  • Have safety rails been installed in showers and tubs?

  • Is the house well lighted at night?

  • Are telephones in easy reach?

  • Is the yard being cared for?

  • Is it difficult to put the trash out for pick up?

  • Who is paying bills and are they being paid?

Sitting together with your family can be a start in dividing up responsibilities so everyone is involved and can be of help. Meal delivery can be arranged through the Area Agency on Aging. Monthly care managers can be found for visits. Senior centers are also excellent resources.

It’s a good time to visit senior communities and use their staff as resources as well.

We are always a resource to consider and welcome your visit any day of the week. Please feel free to come by The Peninsula for a tour.

Senior Living Management

954-691-1030

4611 Johnson Road Suite 1 Coconut Creek, FL 33073

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