Many adults that have an aging relative receiving home health care live one or more hours away. Sometimes it can be difficult to check in with your loved ones, and to discuss the caregiving that is going on with the home health provider. Courtesy of the your Melbourne FL senior home health care and trained nursing staff, we have suggestions below that will help you support your senior in need. Preparation and planning ahead are key.
- Develop a relationship with the primary caregiver hired to care for your senior, as well as any other members of the health care team, such as a patient educator. It will help you feel more at ease to have this direct contact with someone who deals with your loved one so regularly.
- Create a list of your senior’s friends and regular visitors, and your own friends in the area, so you can call and check in.
- Share your home, cell phone, and work telephone numbers with the health care team, friends, and other loved ones in the area in case of an emergency.
- Meet your loved one’s neighbors, too. Good relationships with a trusted neighbor can ensure there is someone else on the support team you can call or e-mail.
- If your senior has few friends in the area, you could check out local adult day care centers, which sometimes offer volunteer visitors. This will help ensure that your senior is getting additional social interaction beyond their home health caregiver.
Other Forms of Communication
- Phone and e-mail are usually the primary forms of communication when you live away from your loved one. Develop a schedule ahead of time with the caregiver and senior so you can check in with each, whether it’s each day or a couple of times a week.
- Consider getting a phone card if your cell phone has a limited plan to reduce long-distance bills. Assess your long-distance and cell phone plans to further reduce bills.
- But don’t forget that Internet and computer services like Skype and Facetime exist, and are also valuable tools. Today’s seniors are using the Internet more than ever so these tools can be incredible assets when it comes to communication.
- Consider creating a Web site to share news about your senior’s needs and condition with your family.
Travel & Finances
- If you will be responsible for paying the caregiver’s bills, you may wish to speak with a financial advisor to determine the best plan of action.
- Forms of transportation like airlines and bus lines may have special deals for family members or patients. There may be other resources, as well, such as advocacy organizations, private pilots, or companies that help patients and their families with transportation.
- When traveling to see your senior, time your drives or flights so that you have time to rest when you return.