Staying in Touch with Your Aging Parent as a Long-Distance Caregiver

Caregivers in East Lansing MI

Caregivers in East Lansing MIBeing a caregiver for an elderly parent is challenging no matter what type of needs that your loved one has. When you are a distance caregiver, however, you are likely to face even greater challenges. One of these may be feeling as though you are not as connected with your parent as you would like to be, or as you feel that you need to be in order for your parent to get all of the care, support, and assistance that they need in order to handle these needs. Finding ways to stay in touch with your aging parent is an important part of being an effective long-distance caregiver.

Use these tips to help you stay connected with your aging parent as you go through your care journey as a long-distance caregiver:

• Plan phone calls. While spontaneous calls just to check in are always welcome, it is easy for your schedule to get so busy that you do not remember to call in. Soon you realize that days have passed since you last called your loved one. Make phone calls a scheduled part of your routine to ensure that you never go a long stretch without talking to them. Establishing a specific time to call them each day also gives them a sense of routine and predictability, and gives them something to look forward to, which can be a boost to their mental and emotional health.

Get them involved with social media. The internet can be a fantastic source of connect with you. Help your parent understand how to use social media platforms as well as email so that they are able to reach out to you more regularly, and you can reach out to them as well. This allows both of you to share photos and videos with each other, send brief messages when you may not have time for a phone call, and even share updates with family and friends regarding their needs. Be sure to instruct them carefully on internet safety and to set their social media accounts to “private” so that only those who you authorize are able to see what is posted on them.

• Write them letters. Keeping up with handwritten correspondence might have largely fallen by the wayside, but that does not mean that it is completely dead, or that it has no benefit. Handwritten correspondence such as letters, cards, and postcards are much more personal than text messages, emails, or posts, and help your parent to feel more personally connected to you. When you take the time to actually write them a letter you are putting effort into connecting with them, making it that much more valuable. Make an effort to write your parent letters once a week or more, and encourage your children to write to them as well, so that they regularly have something coming to them in the mail. Encourage them to write back to you and to your children. This is a fantastic way for them to keep their mind active and sharp.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in East Lansing, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.