Working with a professional caregiver can help you make smart decisions about your loved one’s care. Furthermore, Chris Goodbaudy reminds you that there are plenty of tech tools and services today that make long-distance caregiving easier than ever! Here are a few services that long-distance caregivers can utilize in order to support their loved ones, even from hundreds of miles away.
Chances are, your loved one has lots of legal, financial, and medical documents that they need to get organized - but these files might be all over the place. Once you’ve tracked down the documents that they need to hold on to, you can go about digitizing them. This will ensure that you and your loved one will always be able to access these files. You can store them in a folder on their computer or with a cloud program.
To simplify things even further, you can combine their files into one document by using a tool to merge PDFs. This will reduce the time you need to spend searching for particular documents. Once you’ve finished combining the PDFs, you can rearrange them into the correct order within the document.
Invest in In-Home Care
Of course, as a long-distance caregiver, nothing will bring you more peace of mind than knowing that someone is physically with your loved one to provide for their needs. Hiring an in-home caregiver, even on a part-time basis, is crucial. But how can you choose the best caregiver for your loved one? You may want to go through an agency or hire an independent caregiver. Either way, you can ask local friends and family for referrals. Make sure to ask any potential hires about their experience, and double-check that they can provide the specific medical services that your loved one requires.
Choose a Medical Alert System
Do you want to be notified if your loved one’s vitals reveal something concerning, or if they are physically hurt? You can choose a medical alert system so that if anything goes wrong, you’ll get a notification right away - and if your loved one is unable to call for help, you’ll be able to do it for them. Caring recommends looking into monitored devices, which feature 24/7 monitoring - however, keep in mind that this requires an ongoing subscription.
Install In-Home Security
Are you concerned that your loved one will become prone to wandering? A home security system is the answer. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a security system that connects with their medical alert bracelet. If they do happen to leave the house alone, the system can alert you and their other caregivers.
Try Medication Management Tools
If your loved one takes medication, you might be worried that they’ll skip a dosage when you’re not around, or that they’ll take an improper dosage. Even if you can’t personally administer their medication, you can purchase a medication management tool to handle it for them, such as a convenient and safe electronic pill container that will give your loved one an alert when it’s time to take their medications.
Perhaps you can’t drive your loved one to their doctors’ appointments, and you wish that you could attend with them to help answer their questions and advocate for them. Today, telehealth makes it possible to do this from the comfort of your own home. Talk to their doctors about signing on for telehealth appointments together - with video conferencing software, you’ll feel like you’re all in the same room.
Hire a Driver
Many seniors reach a point when they have trouble driving. This can be very frustrating for seniors - they might want to keep driving so that they can run errands, see their friends, or simply get out of the house, but it can become dangerous for them to do so if they are in poor health.
If you don’t live close by enough to drive your loved one, you may want to budget for a driver. This can make a huge difference in their day-to-day life and allows them to maintain a sense of independence since they’ll still be able to get around. To choose the right driver, DailyCaring recommends asking about their driving record and history, as well as personally checking out their DMV record.
Take Advantage of Delivery Services
What if you don’t have the budget to hire a driver? You can still help your loved one take care of their needs without driving by using delivery services. For example, you may want to get your loved one set up with a local grocery delivery service. You might also want to look into other businesses in their area that offer delivery services - many places will offer this for senior customers, so it never hurts to ask! You can also have their medications delivered to their door so that they don’t have to go to the pharmacy to pick them up.
You can also use online directories to hire a reliable resource if something goes wrong around the house. For example, if the toilet overflows or the garbage disposal stops working, you can search online for plumbing companies in your loved one’s area, screen their reviews, make some calls, and arrange for a plumber to come out. This way, there won’t be misunderstandings between your aging loved one and the company, and you can call to check in on the service.
Use Online Banking
If your loved one needs your help managing their finances, but you’re not in town to meet with them or their financial advisor, you might feel like you’re at a loss for what to do. Thankfully, online banking makes things much easier. You can meet with your loved one and a financial advisor over video chat to discuss financial planning, and your loved one can authorize you to access and manage their accounts remotely.
Being a long-distance caregiver can be challenging. Sometimes, you might feel guilty that you can’t do more for your loved one. But today, new services make it possible for you to give your loved one a higher quality of life from states away. With these suggestions, you’ll be able to fulfill your loved one’s needs, no matter where you are.
If your aging loved one needs help applying for Medicare or other health insurance options, contact insurance agent Chris Goodbaudy. Visit his website to set up a consultation today!
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