When you’re a long-distance caregiver, it can be difficult to stay involved in your loved one’s life. There are so many things you can miss out on, even if you’re careful about staying in touch, and having another connection to them can help ease your mind, especially if they are very ill or have health or mobility issues. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your loved one’s neighbors and the people they share a community with, as these are the people who can help when you aren’t able to be there.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can get to know those around your loved one. Creating a plan that will help you be the best caregiver you can be will help ease your mind and ensure that your loved one is well taken care of at all times. Technology can help greatly, but having someone there physically is always a better option.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to get more involved in your loved one’s life and make sure they’re safe, happy, and healthy.
Make Use of the Community
The community that your loved one lives in can be of great help; in fact, there’s even an organization called A Little Help that allows responsible members of the community to connect to a senior in need. When there are small chores to be done around the house or yard work, who will help your loved one? With a group like A Little Help, you can be sure that there’s always someone around to lend a helping hand.
Medical Alert Systems
When you’re a long-distance caregiver, making sure your loved one stays safe at all hours of the day can seem daunting and, at times, impossible. To give you peace of mind, and to protect your loved one in the event of an accident or injury, look into purchasing a medical alert system. These tracking devices can summon help at the press of a button, and some of them can automatically detect when a person has experienced a fall. There are many different alert systems on the market these days, so find one that fits you and your loved one’s needs.
Find Out About Roommates
Now, more than ever, many seniors are finding that living with a roommate is a wonderful option. Not only does it prevent loneliness and isolation, but it can also be beneficial for both physical and mental health and can even boost brain function in the elderly. You can do some research online to find out if there are seniors in your loved one’s area who are looking for a roommate; this is a great option for those who are in good health but could use a little company.
Take a Little Trip
If possible, take a trip to visit your loved one, and make it a point to meet the neighbors. Let them know that you’re a caregiver and have a prepared list of emergency phone numbers or instructions for them to look over. If they are well acquainted with your loved one, ask if they’ll feel comfortable with keeping the list at their house in case of emergency. This way, you’ll have an extra set of eyes and ears on your loved one’s end.
Keep Up on Social Media
Social media is a wonderful way to keep in touch with your loved one’s neighbors. Once you’ve made an introduction, find out if they are online so you’ll have an easy way to communicate with them if necessary. It’s also a good way to keep in touch with your loved one, especially if they have a hearing impairment and aren’t reliable with the telephone.
Getting involved in your loved one’s life will help both of you in the long run, so it’s important to look for the best ways to be helpful while ensuring their safety. Talk to your loved one about their needs, and talk often. One of the best ways to stay involved is to keep up communication and make sure they do, too. With a good plan, you and your loved one can make their care a success even when you’re far away.
This piece was submitted by Lydia Chan. Lydia is the co-creator of Alzheimerscaregiver.net, which provides tips and resources to help caregivers.
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