Providing care for aging parents can feel like a full-time job, and at times, can require an entire team of people. Managing the logistics of daily life, such as nutrition, handling medications, and coordinating doctor’s appointments often become difficult for older adults. This can be equally as challenging for families and children of aging adults, especially for those who live far away.
Families who are long-distance might consider hiring a team of caregivers for their seniors. But, keeping connected with a loved one is also important. According to a study conducted by the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, “Elders who are socially connected have a slower progression of health declines than those who are less engaged.” Now that older adults have access to the Internet and smartphones more than ever, staying connected with family is a click away.
If your loved one has access to a computer, setting them up with an email address will allow the whole family to connect quickly. Emails are great for sending written updates as well as sharing photos and important documents. Receiving special messages from family members will always leave your aging parent feeling loved and well connected.
Phone Calls and Text Messages
Consistent phones calls allow caregivers and family members to be aware of their senior’s wellbeing. It’s important to recognize changes in behavior, especially if your parents or loved one becomes agitated, frustrated, or shows a decline in memory. Using phone calls as a way to connect, while monitoring health and behavior will allow seniors to get the help they need when they need it.
Video chats are great for families who live far away from their senior. Programs like Skype or Google Hangouts are easy to use and help families and loved ones feel like they are spending time together, even when they are remote.
Most mobile phones allow its users to download various programs, many of which are free to use. Applications like bSafe creates a safety network by connecting its users with their family and friends through GPS, allowing them to see where you are and when you might need help.
CareZone helps families share their senior’s important health records, notes from caregivers, and medication schedules. Using a central location, like CareZone, to communicate and manage important documents allows the whole family to stay up-to-date on their senior’s health.
At our Carespring facilities in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky, we strive to keep patients and their families connected. What’s working for you and your family?