We live in a world where it is all too common for us to relocate for work, business, or even better opportunities. However, that does not mean you are free from the responsibilities back home, like taking care of your elderly or aging parents or any other loved one that relies on you. In fact, it becomes even more important that arrangements be made to take care of your parents when you’re not around. While we understand it’s not possible to be around your parents all the time, but arrangements need to be made to ensure that they are taken care of in your absence. That’s where setting up a sort of remote care system or long-distance caregivers can be beneficial.
Long-distance caregiving has many advantages, which include:
- The ability for you to monitor what they (your parents) are doing throughout the day
- Ensuring that they (aging parents) are being cared for by a professional
- Free to communicate with them through video conferencing
- The ability to make sure that your loved ones are comfortable and making arrangements to ensure that they continue to feel comfortable
Modern technology has ensured that as adults, we can take care of our parents regardless of where we are physically located. That’s why we are seeing a growing demand for remote care. In this article, we’ll discuss how remote home care works so that those reading this can use something similar to take care of their parents.
The Benefits of Caring For Aging Parents i.e. Remote Care
All elderly parents don’t have the same needs. Our parents have different needs based on their age, fitness level, and daily routine. That’s why you shouldn’t underestimate the care they may need in fact, you should be proactive at trying to take care of them. If you happen to be living in a different city, remote care is an excellent idea because it offers you the following benefits:
Peace of Mind
We tend to worry a lot about our parents, when far away for an extended period. The worries are only compounded when we know that there is nobody there to take care of our loved ones. However, remote care, makes it very easy to have complete peace of mind, knowing that you can communicate with them through video calls. The approach isn’t just good for your business/career goals, but it ensures that your parents’ home care aren’t neglected in the process.
Fulfill Your Duties as An Adult
We are all tasked with looking after our parents. However, at times doing it actively may not be possible. That said, when you choose remote care, it makes it possible to fulfill those duties and stay connected. You can be assured of no disruption to your routine and that of your parents. Furthermore, you can be assured that there is someone there when they need help if you plan for it ahead of time.
Supervising Their Health
Older people may and often will encounter any number of health problems which makes geriatric care so important. It is also why they (aging parents) will almost always require medical assistance as compared to a younger person. Remote care allows you to supervise the health of your parents consistently. If there is a medical issue, you find out about it right away. Knowing about it early on allows you to make the necessary arrangements like calling a doctor.
Ensuring Your Parents are Safe
Many antisocial elements attempt to prey on the elderly and especially those who are living alone. If you aren’t in touch with them (your parents), they may end up falling prey to these scammers. When you’re able to monitor the elderly even at a distance and choosing a professional caregiver, you can be assured of their safety. You can also make sure to warn them of potential trouble so that they can stay out of it.
Help Making Their Lives More Comfortable
Older people have lower energy levels, which means that they may not be able to efficiently move through the home. In some cases, they will require assistance. A professional caregiver can help make them feel more comfortable. So, you don’t have to worry much about someone handling their (homes) day to day chores. Also, your loved one has someone to talk with which means that they don’t fall into depression.
How to Choose the Right Type of Care?
Now before you can choose the right type of care, you need to be aware of all the various types available. In fact, there are quite a few different remote care options, but you’ll want to carefully evaluate each before choosing one that you think is right for your parents.
Unless your parents need around-the-clock supervision, assistance, and medical care, an informal caregiver is an excellent option. You can have a network of friends and family members who assist your parents with various tasks like shopping for groceries, preparing meals, and taking them to medical appointments. However, that’s only possible if you have a willing network of friends or family there to help you.
If you have parents that need more help, then you’d want to hire a professional caregiver either part-time or full-time. Professional caregivers will assist your parents with their daily schedule. Plus, you can decide how long they visit for and what work they do. Furthermore, you can have a certified nursing assistant who assists them with everyday tasks. What you pay professional caregivers for caregiving jobs will vary depending on the kind of care your parents need. That said, it is an excellent long-distance or remote caregiving solution.
Adult Day Care Services for Senior(s)
Now, these facilities are a lot like child daycare facilities. However, the difference here is that they are looking after adults in a secure environment. They don’t only monitor your parents’ health, but there are therapists on hand who can help them. There are also activities like games, exercises, arts, and picnics which keep everyone residing there happy. So, not only are they (your parents) taken care of but also kept occupied.
Community Care Services
Almost every community has volunteer groups that take care of old adults. These groups will provide services like meal preparations, grocery shopping, and some maintenance work. You can connect with these people, and they should be able to help take care of your loved one. However, they might not be as thorough as a professional caregiver.
You can set up a network of devices and apps that will help by monitoring your parents. Various services and mobile apps, along with gadgets, can help track your parents and also, if needed, assist them with reminders like for taking their medication. However, you’ll need to be consistently monitoring your parents to see that everything is working as it should. It is the best option for perhaps seniors who can handle almost everything themselves.
Using Tech for Remote Care with Your Parents
Technology, for the most part, can make it easier and much more manageable for a person to care for their parents remotely. It helps keep you in the know regarding their health and mental state. Technology allows for long-distance caregiving and has also made it cheaper. Below are a few ways in which technology can help.
The Evolution of GPS Services
Over the past decade, GPS services have evolved considerably. GPS tags can tell you exactly where a person is located with an accuracy of up to a meter away, making it perfect for tracking the elderly. The technology is great for tracking older people with conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. You can easily monitor their location via just about any smartphone, even from another country. You can watch their movements and ensure that they are within the prescribed safety zone at all times.
Cameras tend to be a great way to keep an eye on your parents from a distance. You can install a multitude of cameras at all exist and entry points. You can have them in the common living area and outside the home as well. The feed from these cameras can easily be accessed via a mobile application, which allows you to monitor them 24/7.
Virtual assistants have been becoming increasingly popular in recent years. You can just as easily install a Google Home or an Alexa device in your elderly parents’ home. The assistants will allow your parents to control just about every function of the home (if it’s wired to be a smart home). Plus, assistants can remind them of their medication when the time comes. For instance, the elderly can manage their television via the assistant, book an appointment with a doctor and send you an email. The system can also trigger an email in the event of an emergency. That way, you are always alerted to the latest updates or issues.
Stay Connected with Smartphone Apps
In the past couple of years, mobile applications have become smarter and more useful. Today they can be used to monitor the health conditions of the elderly and their location. You can also use the apps to communicate with them. That’s why these are some of the best ways you can take care of your elderly parents or any other aging loved one for that matter.
You can also buy patches, which monitor the vitals of an individual. The patches can be attached to the elderly’s body to actively monitor their health. Using these patches, you can monitor the health of your parents using a mobile application from far away. The patches provide a multitude of information like glucose levels, blood pressure, and heartbeat monitoring, etc. This technology makes long-distance caregiving a lot easier.
Is Remote Care a Replacement for a Human Caregiver for a Loved One?
Well, the short answer to this is no, it can’t. Remote care is good when it comes to caring for parents when you might not be around for or from another country. You can monitor them from a distance, but it can’t replace a human being there in person. That’s why it is just as important to visit your parents from time to time. When you visit them, it makes it easier for them to feel loved and perhaps dull the pain they may feel when you are far away.
If you’re unable to visit them as frequently like lets’ say every week or every month, it is important to have a human caregiver in the form of a professional or member of the community. If they have a preexisting health condition, you will want to have a certified nurse and a professional look after them while you continue to monitor their progress remotely.