……..but, I’m so far away.
02 Oct, 2012
Written By: Linda Waechter @ Edgewood Vista Senior Living
Long distance care giving can be made a bit more manageable and satisfying. The National Institute on Aging has suggestions that will help you tackle some of the following issues.
Long distance care giving can range from helping Uncle Bill sort through his medical bills or arranging a well planned weekend with Mom. It can include checking references for caregivers who will come into Aunt Susie’s home or taking the pressure off your sister who lives in the same town as your aging parents.
If you live more than an hour from your loved one, you are a long distance caregiver. What may start out as a weekly call to share social news may turn into a regular phone call about managing medical issues, arranging for grocery delivery or managing household bills. What begins as a monthly trip to check on mom may become a larger endeavor to move her to an Assisted Living or Independent Living situation.
HOW WILL I KNOW HELP IS NEEDED
A simple call to Uncle Bert might not tell you that the supper he is fixing is really a bowl of cereal. Uncle Bert may not want to bother his nephew about the fact that he is too tired to prepare a meal. With Bert’s permission the nephew might talk to neighbors, friends, doctors, or local relatives and ask them to check in on Bert. When the nephew spends a weekend with Bert he should look for possible trouble areas that could be disguised during a phone call. You might check on the condition of the house and check for safety issues. Sometimes people confuse depression in older people with normal aging. A depressed older person might brighten up for a phone call or short visit, but it’s harder to hide serious mood problems during an extended visit.
SIGNS OF SELF NEGLECT
Self neglect describes situations in which older people put themselves at high risk. People who neglect themselves may have a memory disorder such as Alzheimer’s Disease that impairs their judgment or memory. They may have a chronic disease. Knowing where to draw the line between a person’s right to independence and self-neglect can be hard. Here are some signs that may mean it’s time to intervene.
–Failure to take essential medications or refusal to seek medical treatment for serious illness
–Leaving a burning stove unattended
–Not wearing suitable clothing for the weather
–Inability to attend to housekeeping
If you feel that your loved one is in physical danger, contact the authorities right away. If you suspect abuse, but do not feel there is an immediate risk, contact someone who can act on your behalf; the doctor, for instance, or a contact at a home health agency. If you suspect abuse from an in-house provider you must report this to adult protective services.
Whether you are the primary caregiver or a long-distance caregiver, getting some care giving training can be helpful. Training can teach you how to safely move someone from a bed to a chair, how to help someone bathe, how to prevent and treat bed sores. Information about training opportunities is available online. Some local chapters of the American Red Cross might offer courses, as do some non-profit organizations focused on care giving. Medicare and Medicaid will sometimes pay for this training. Contact the Eldercare Locator in your area.
If you have further questions please do not hesitate to ask me through this website. I will be glad to help you find the answers. You can also reach me at email@example.com