The holidays are past, the tree has been put away, and the resolutions have long been forgotten. But there is one thing you can’t forget and its been troubling you since you boarded the plane: your parent’s health.
Many adult children face this fact every year as they return home for the holidays only to discover their older parents simply can’t do everything on their own anymore. They need assistance. But how can you do it from afar? How can you manage work, a family, and everything that keeps you busy 24 hours of the day AND try and figure out this new caregiving role from hundreds of miles away?
While it may sound like an overwhelming, stressful, even impossible task, keep in mind that this scenario plays out all across the world every single year. You are not alone. Yet now that you’ve discovered there is a problem, its time to do something about it.
Across America, it is estimated that there are around 7 million people providing long distance care for their family and loved ones. Caregiving is complicated in the best of circumstances; distance adds a new realm to the issue. First realize that caregiving will come with many different aspects for you to deal with – emotional, physical and financial – and there are some things you’ll be able to do, and some things you’ll have to rely on help.
Who is in your community?
Your first task is to make sure mom and dad are safe. Do you have siblings that live near by? Do you have other close relatives, such as an aunt, uncle or cousin? Do your parents have close friends that can help out as needed? Put together a list of everyone that may be willing to help with a caregiving task. In some cases, the people on your list may already be doing their fair share. With a simple meeting, you can discuss your parent’s health and determine what resources are available and being used right now. [Read more…]