Caregiving From Afar
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Definition of a Long Distance Caregiver
"Caregivers who provide care for an elder who lives at least an hour away”. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, there are 5 to 7 million long- distance-caregivers in the U.S. who are caring for an older relative – a number that is expected to double over the next 15 years. They live on average 480 miles from the people for whom they care and spend an average of four hours in travel time per visit.
As a result, a growing number of adult sons and daughters are discovering just how hard it is to try to ensure the welfare of aging parents who live hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles away.
Are You a Long
Distance Caregiver? Get Prepared!
Long-distance caregiving is usually defined as care provided by a caregiver living more than an hour away from the care recipient.
Long-distance care giving can take many forms - from helping manage the money to arranging for in-home care from providing some respite for the primary caregiver to helping a parent move to a new home or facility.
long-distance caregivers act as information coordinators, helping
aging parents understand the confusing maze of home health aides,
insurance benefits, and durable medical equipment. Families often
also turn to the professional services of a Geriatric
Care Manager as
Talk - Discuss - Learn!
Given the choice, most senior would prefer to continue to live in their own homes known as"aging in place". Unfortunately the majority of elderly people gradually lose functioning ability and require either additional assistance in the home or a move to an elder care facility.
The adult children of these elders often face a difficult challenge in helping their parents make the right choices especially if they live a distance away. This is why understanding what elder care is, and what it involves, is so important.
Talk, discuss, learn what services and elder care options are available in the community BEFORE a situation or crisis arises.
Learn About Elder Care Options
Elder care is so broad based. It encompasses a wide variety of issues, including choosing an appropriate geriatric physician to care for an aging patient, and making decisions about moving an elderly person from the home environment to a residential care setting.
Elder care can also mean arranging for an array of care services such as adult day service, assisted living, Hospice, nursing care and home health.
It could also encompass arranging for in home care. There are two types of in home care: Medical (skilled care) and Non-Medical (social care).
home elder care includes a wide range of services that are
provided over an extended period of time to people who need help
to perform normal activities of daily living such as eating,
dressing and bathing because of cognitive impairment or loss of
muscular strength or control.
They may also need assistance with meal planning and preparation, laundry, obtaining medical care, paying their bills paid, senior transportation to and from their doctor appointments as well as to the grocery store.
Medical in home elder care can include rehabilitative therapies,
skilled nursing care, palliative care, and social services, as
well as supervision and a wide range of supportive personal care
provided by family caregivers and/or home health care agencies.
Elder care can be long-term or short-term depending on the needs
Modifying Ones Home
Elder care can include modifying ones home to make it safer and easier to remaining living there. Adaptations can include features that make it easier and safer to manage activities of daily living such as bathing, cooking, and stair climbing.
Alterations to the physical structure of the home can improve its overall safety and condition. Home modification examples include installing grab bars and transfer benches in bathrooms, ramps, and handrails for home access.
There are also ways today to
convert the standard step-in bath tub, which can become a safety
hazard, to a new
'walk-in' type bath tub. Older adults may tend
not to bath as often as they should for fear of
falling. These type of home modifications can make a big
difference in making your loved ones home safer.
Medical Alert Systems
Elder care can also include setting your loved one up with a medical alert system. By doing so, everyone is given peace of mind in knowing that if needed, emergency assistance is available at the push of a button.
It's also a good idea to get the names and phone numbers of your elder loves ones next door neighbor or close friend. In the event you can't them by phone you can contact this person and ask them go over and check on them for you, notify you and the authorities should they find something not right. Be sure they have your contact numbers too.
Elder Options of Texas
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DISCLAIMER: Links to other websites or references to products, services or publications do not imply the endorsement or approval of such websites, products, services or publications by Elder Options of Texas. The determination of the need for senior care services and the choice of a facility is an extremely important decision. Please make your own independent investigation.