Are you providing long-distance caregiving support to an aging loved one with cancer? Finding strategies to overcome the miles can be challenging, and the last thing you want is to let your senior down. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure your special someone is happy and healthy, regardless of the distance between you. Facing Cancer with Grace invites you to learn more about how to stay connected.
Take advantage of technology
With the many advances we’re seeing in modern-day electronics, the world is becoming a smaller place all the time. Why not put that gadgetry to work for you and your senior loved one? Care.com points out, the right tech can actually be very helpful to seniors who are aging in place.
- Medication dispensers to help seniors remember timing and dosages, which can be especially tricky for those who take multiple prescriptions.
- Smart doorbells are another handy option for seniors. They can see who is visiting without rushing to the door.
- Wearables like shoe inserts with built-in GPS can help families keep track of seniors who might wander.
Social Support and Long-Distace Caregiving
There are other technological tools at your fingertips as well, and chances are you’re already quite familiar with them. Social media offers a wealth of opportunities to caregivers, allowing you to stay in touch not only with your loved one but also with local support networks.
Many seniors love social media as well. It can help reduce isolation, spark more interest and engagement with others, and encourage seniors to keep learning and growing their skill sets. Video calling is another potential help since it gives you an eyes-on check of your loved one’s condition.
Digital Literacy for Seniors
AARP points out many seniors struggle with digital literacy, so they offer a free course to help seniors get more comfortable. There are also apps that offer practical help, like tracking health data and simplifying communication for both you and your loved one.
Since data usage can add up quickly through streaming and app usage, make sure you and your loved one are signed up for internet service that fits your budget and offers a speedy connection or look to bump up your data plans.
Getting hands-on help
Even with ample tools and devices at your disposal, little compares with someone interacting with your loved one on a routine basis. Even if your senior seems to be aging in place well and doing well with cancer treatments, having someone checking in can ease your mind, and if troubles arise, it’s a chance to nip them in the bud.
Reach out to your loved one’s neighbors and friends, and make sure you keep their contact information handy. Oftentimes, those nearby can help with things like transportation and other arrangements, as well as providing local companionship. If getting out and about is a concern, many communities offer transportation services for minimal or no cost to seniors, so explore all the available options.
Many people are surprised at the expense associated with long-distance caregiving: The average American family spend is $8,728 a year out of pocket. For many families, that’s a tough financial outlay, and it’s crucial to find ways to reduce it.
There are several ways to lower the expenses associated with keeping seniors happy and healthy. For instance, you can explore free and low-cost services for seniors, such as free meal delivery programs. If your loved one would benefit from some home upgrades or repairs, some agencies offer financial or construction assistance, or both. For seniors who are still active, local community centers usually offer fitness classes.
Long-Distance Caregiving Can Be Done
There are unique challenges associated with long-distance caregiving. Thankfully, those issues can be surmounted with a handful of strategic arrangements. Put technology to work for you and your senior, network for local assistance, and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Your loved one can have a better quality of life and you can have peace of mind despite the long distance between you, thanks to your smart considerations.
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About Today’s Guest Blogger
Karen Weeks is a senior lifestyle blogger who believes nothing is off-limits to seniors. After retirement, she struggled to find a new sense of purpose which lead her to learn a new skill and took a computer course. She created Elderwellness.net – a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies, and spirits well.