Long Distance Caregivers: How to Maximize Your Home Visits with Elderly Parents

Long Distance Caregivers: How to Maximize Your Home Visits with Elderly Parents
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Not everyone lives near, let alone in the same state, as their parents. So being able to pop over for an emergency or make frequent trips to see them is not always an option. Not being able to visit your parents on a regular basis can leave you with not enough time to really review how they’re doing. Visiting in short spurts or not often enough can lead to worrying about how they’re doing when you, or anyone, are not around. If you find yourself in this situation, here are a few tips you can do to take full advantage of your visits between spending time with your aging parents but also making sure they are safe.

Tip 1: Leave the House
The couple of stairs up to the front door of your parents’ home are an easy task for you to do but what about your parents? Do they struggle? One way to find this out is to pick an activity that you can enjoy outdoors. See how they navigate leaving their home. Does it seem like they need a handrail when going down the steps? If they seem to have an issue using the steps outside, suggest putting a handrail in, or installing a ramp or stair lift instead by contacting a mobility company like us who can provide the right tools to fit your needs.

Tip 2: Go for a Drive
Take this time to see their driving ability and evaluate if they might need a refresher course.

Tip 3: Cook Together
This is a great way to see what items your parents can reach, what they can or cannot easily access, and what kitchen items are being avoided. Some things to look out for:

  • Heavy dishes on a high shelf: move these to a lower and accessible
  • Knobs difficult to use: replace them if they show difficulty using (especially if they have arthritis)
  • Expired food: throw these out and see if it seems to be a problem (ie. looking at expiration dates and figuring out how long its been in there)

Tip 4: Look for safety issues
We want our loved ones to be as safe as possible. By evaluating their home, you can see what items or situations need attention. Here is a helpful safety checklist to help guide you onwhat you may need to look for. While you’re at it, take care of any household chores that they need help with that they cannot do on their own.

Source: https://seniornews.com/how-to-maximize-home-visits-with-aging-parents/