Long-Distance Caregiving

Phone calls, emails and visits can easily bridge the distance between family members that live hundreds, and even thousands of miles apart. But when a parent falls ill, the miles become an obstacle. Even a simple task like arranging your parents’ transportation to the doctor’s office can become a challenge.

Follow these steps to create a system for your long-distance parents and provide a first response in case of emergency.

  • Discuss the system with your parents and other family members. Involved parties may have different opinions about care and procedure. By arriving at an agreed solution, you can take action more quickly and efficiently if a situation presents itself.
  • Know your parents’ important information. Collect the necessary medical, financial, and legal information, documents and keys.
    • Put the phone numbers of your parents’ physicians in your cell, and file privacy forms so you can discuss medical matters.
    • Note your parents’ date of birth, social security number, Medicare or Medicaid number, health insurance information and the dosages of all medications they are taking.
    • Get a phone number and email address for a local contact. If you don’t know your parents’ neighbors and friends, ask them to introduce you. Is there someone they trust where they can leave an extra key to their home?
    • Investigate engaging a geriatric care manager. These trained professionals can serve as the lynchpin of a care network that links you and your parents to the most appropriate, highly regarded community resources. They can also act as your eyes on the scene, keeping you up-to-date on your parents’ situation.

By taking these few steps, you will go a long way toward ensuring your parents’ safety, while allowing yourself peace of mind. Read our Sunrise Senior Living Blog for long-distance caregiving tips, including three vital provisions for the future.

For additional resources for long-distance caregiving, contact your local Sunrise Senior Living community.