Guest Blogger, Claire Wentz
6 Things That Can Make Life Easier for Seniors & Long-Distance Caregivers
Living apart from an older family member can be stressful for family caregivers. After all, it can be difficult to ensure your loved one’s needs are met when you live so far away. But there are solutions that can make this arrangement easier. From transportation to help at home to a more comfortable lifestyle, here are some suggestions from Senior Access on how long-distance caregivers can find some peace of mind:
If your older loved one can no longer drive, providing care from afar can be even more stressful. You should research senior transportation options for your loved one and check for any discounts that can help make buses or trains more affordable. If you live in the Round Rock area, Senior Access can help. We offer free personal transportation services to seniors so they can get to and from doctors appointments, the grocery stores, and other destinations as well as prescription pickup and delivery. To learn more about the transportation and other services we offer, visit our website or contact us online.
If you don’t live in our service area, look at your loved one’s public transportation options. If they are not comfortable using public transportation or if there is none available, then you will need to look for alternate senior transportation. Thankfully, many hospitals and medical facilities provide shuttles for seniors and those with special needs, but you can also look into ridesharing apps.
Lawn Care Services
Gardening can be good for the health and well-being of older adults. If you are concerned about your loved one lifting heavy lawn equipment or working out in the sun, however, you may want to consider investing in some extra help. Local services can help your senior out with all of the more burdensome tasks of lawn care, like mowing and weeding, so that your loved one can get the most out of their gardening hobbies.
Home Security Systems
If you want to keep an eye on your senior loved one, you should consider a home security system. Many of the newest security systems actually come with cameras that you can monitor from your smartphone, which can really come in handy if you have concerns about wandering or other risky behaviors. If you don’t want to install cameras in your loved one’s home, or if they are not comfortable with this, you can also consider systems that include medical alert services.
Food Delivery Services
Seniors need to eat healthy foods in order to maintain their strength and physical well-being. If your loved one has mobility issues, preparing that food can prove a challenge. This is why you may want to research meal kits that make keeping healthy meals on-hand less stressful for seniors. These kits come with all of the ingredients needed to cook wholesome meals and some even come with the meals already put together. Many services even accommodate special diets and nutrition concerns, which makes them a valuable solution for keeping your senior healthy.
Having a home security system and handy apps available can make life easier for seniors living alone. For long-distance caregivers who want some added peace of mind, forging connections with local neighbors and organizations is the best bet. If you plan on visiting with your senior loved one soon, leave some time to introduce yourself to any neighbors, and let those you can trust know that your family member is living alone. If you cannot make the trip, you can also use social media apps to stay connected to your loved one’s community and prevent isolation.
Last but most certainly not least, your senior loved one must have a safe and comfortable home if you want to have peace of mind as a long-distance caregiver. If your loved one plans on aging in place, you will want to make or arrange for certain modifications to prevent injuries and illness, including grab bars around showers and even lighting from room-to-room. When these changes aren’t possible or when your loved one’s home becomes too much to manage alone, you may also want to consider whether it’s time to downsize. If paying for utilities or dealing with maintenance and cleaning has become overwhelming, moving to a smaller home may be best. Home prices currently sit at about $375K in Round Rock, so selling a current property will provide seniors with a significant amount of money that can be used for living expenses.
Providing care from afar can be difficult but it is definitely doable. You just need to have the right tools and resources to ensure your senior loved one’s physical and mental health are taken care of and that any needs are met.
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