While it was much more common for families to stay in the same town 50 or 100 years ago, today, many adult children live far away from their parents, choosing to reside in different cities, states, or even countries for various reasons. For grown children whose parents are becoming elderly and are aging, knowing how to provide care when living so far away can be difficult. Whether your elderly parent qualifies for the free home healthcare services provided under EEOICPA and RECA or not, here are some tips that can help you to navigate caring for a parent from afar.
1. Learn More About Your Parent’s Needs and the Services Available
It can be extremely tough to coordinate care when you’re not living in the same city as your elderly parent. Something that can help is to take some time to determine what types of services your elderly parent needs – Do they need in-home assistance? Is it time for a nursing home? Do they suffer from any serious health conditions that demand care, such as Alzheimer’s disease?
Once you have identified the type of healthcare services that your parent needs, the next step is doing some research to learn more about the various types of healthcare services that are available in the area where your parent lives. You can probably do this remotely using the internet; however, taking a trip and visiting care facilities and professionals in person may offer more peace of mind.
2. Work with a Family Member or Care Professional
One thing that can make caring for a family member remotely that much more difficult is in the event that there are no other family members or close friends living near your elderly parent whom you can rely on to update you about care and to provide support. If this is the case, it may be beneficial to arrange a care manager or geriatric social worker or to hire a nurse or other healthcare professional who can coordinate care and keep you in the loop.
3. Schedule Regular Check-ins with All Interested Parties
Traveling back and forth can be time-consuming and expensive, and depending on your professional or family situation, traveling back and forth regularly may not be possible. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take time to check in all interested parties. With the internet today, having a face-to-face phone call with loved ones across the country is easier than ever before, and something you should plan on doing regularly with your elderly parent. In addition, you should also converse regularly with all other interested parties, including healthcare providers, your siblings, and family living near your parent. The more you talk and plan when it comes to healthcare and how to approach your parent’s care, the smoother implementing care will be.
Caring for a Parent from Far Away Is Challenging
There is no doubt that caring for a parent from far away can be extremely challenging. Contacting your state’s agency on aging or ombudsman or an elder law attorney may be helpful in learning more about effective elder care options. At United Energy Workers Healthcare and Four Corners Health Care, we can answer any questions that you have about the federal EEOICPA program and RECA claims – we provide free home healthcare services to beneficiaries of these programs. Please feel free to reach out to us at your convenience.