Caring for an aging parent is a responsibility, but it becomes challenging when you live in a different location. The challenge of long-distance senior care gets bigger for people living overseas. Being thousands of miles away from your aging parents creates a sense of helplessness. For seniors, this living arrangement may cause isolation.
Statistics show that 2.8 million Americans lived abroad as of 2020, and many of them may have aging parents back home. Even though America has excellent facilities for seniors, you may worry about your parents’ well-being when you are thousands of miles away. However, careful planning and foresight can help you ensure proper care for your seniors.
We will share some actionable tips to provide the support and care your parents need to enjoy a high quality of life when you live abroad.
Build a Local Support System
Letting your parents age in place is the best thing you can do for them. A 2020 WHO report stated that 12% of nursing home staff members neglect the needs of residents, and 2 in 3 abuse them. It means leaving seniors in nursing homes is a bad decision. The situation of aging adults is worse in some states. For example, the Adult Protective Services Program in Illinois received 20567 reports of neglect, abuse, and financial exploitation in 2020-21.
Fortunately, the home care market is booming in the US, so there are plenty of options to build a local support system for your elderly parents. Illinois residents can easily access these services because the state has a growing aging population. You can look for a local home care agency in Dupage if your parents live in the city.
Besides employing local caregivers, you can identify reliable neighbors and friends to visit them often and ensure they are happy. A support system can also be a savior in emergencies when you cannot be there right away.
Implement Constant Health Monitoring
Surveys show that heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes are responsible for nearly two-thirds of all deaths among people over 65. Early detection and timely treatment ensure good health and longevity. Whether your parents are healthy or have a chronic disease, you must constantly monitor their health, even if you live abroad.
Technological solutions such as wearable health trackers, smart home devices, and telehealth services can help in this context. Also, coordinate with local healthcare providers to schedule proactive checkups and regular health screenings. Always Best Care Senior Services recommends finding a home care agency providing tailored services according to the special needs of your parents.
Besides constant monitoring, ensure that medical records are accessible to their local caregivers. Also, outline a detailed health plan these providers can follow in the event of an emergency. This way, they can expedite the decision-making process when your aging parents need immediate treatment.
Ensure a Safe and Comfortable Living Environment
You may have the best caregiver agency to look after your seniors when you live abroad. But this is only half the work done. Aging in place requires a home with a safe and comfortable living environment.
The CDC notes that falls are the leading cause of injury and injury-induced death in seniors. They are also a public health concern for the elderly because an aging adult over 65 suffers a fall every second of every day.
Making a few modifications to your parents’ living space will keep you stress-free about these risks. These include installing grab bars, nightlights, ramps, or other accessibility features. You can also ask the home care provider to conduct a safety assessment of the place and suggest improvements. Hire a local professional to implement the changes sooner rather than later.
Plan Regular Visits and Quality Time
The geographical distance from your aging parents shouldn’t be a reason to get complacent with their care. They deserve all the love and attention during their golden years. Planning regular visits to spend quality time with your seniors should be a priority. Be there when they are unwell because they need care from loved ones rather than a professional caregiver.
Schedule regular video calls and invite them to your place if they can travel comfortably. Use these get-together opportunities to refresh old memories and engage in activities that bring fulfillment to your parents.
In conclusion, living thousands of miles away from your aging parents can be stressful as you always worry about their well-being. However, following these tips can help you ensure an optimal quality of life for them.
Remember that emotional connection can be as fulfilling as physical presence. So call them often, stay in touch, and pay attention to their unspoken needs. Have a local support system to take the onus for their well-being.