Today’s families are spread across the country from coast to coast and many children leave home to move to other cities and start families of their own. While this makes for great road trips and vacation destinations, it does present challenges for people whose parents are getting older and live far away. Frequent visits and check-ins are not an option, and long-distances relatives need to take other steps to ensure that their older parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are receiving proper care.
Keep in Touch
The most critical step to keeping tabs on a long-distance loved one’s situation and wellbeing is to keep in touch. Phone calls are best because they allow you to gauge how your family member is handling conversations. Can he keep up with the flow of a steady conversation? Can she remember what you talked about yesterday? Does his voice sound steady or does it sound like he’s in pain? Is she mumbling, having trouble hearing or getting easily confused?
Phone calls allow you to keep real-time track of what’s happening and if you can establish a routine (calling at a certain time every day or every other day, for example), you can provide a sense of familiarity even as your family member gets older.
Know the Doctors
In addition to staying in touch with your family member, you should also be in contact with anyone who takes care of him or her, as well as any medical team members who handle their conditions. You should be up-to-date on any medications your loved one is taking, as well as any conditions that are on-going or require treatment. When you do visit, you can try to schedule doctor’s visits or check-ups so that you can be kept informed about what’s going on and what your family member needs to do to stay in good health.
Check Local Resources
Knowing more about the emergency services that are available in your loved one’s hometown will help you immensely and can add to your peace of mind. If you are able to contact law enforcement, nursing home or elderly care services, and others who can check on your loved one when you can’t, you can use that to help you stay on top of their condition and their home life.
Protect from Where You Are
It is difficult to move away from home, and even more difficult to entrust other non-family members with the care of your loved ones. But when you live far away, you need to utilize every resource available to you to protect your family. Get in touch with local agencies and support groups, make frequent contact to your family member and their caretakers, and question any changes or suspicious behaviors that concern you.
Taking care of your loved ones doesn’t have to be a challenge, even in non-typical situations. For more information regarding California’s laws and policies about elder abuse and the options you have for keeping your loved ones safe, contact the San Francisco elder abuse lawyers at the Evans Law Firm. We represent anyone who has been a victim of elder abuse and can help you stay on top of your family member’s situation. Call 415-441-8669 or visit www.evanslaw.com today.