Ask Becci: Tips For Out-of-State Elder Care

A recent “Ask Becci” email brought up a topic that I’ve encountered many times throughout my elder care career: How can an adult child help their aging parent(s) when they live out-of-state?

Though the answer may seem as simple as, “Just move them closer to where you live”, that’s not always in the best interest of you or your parent(s).

For aging parents who are attached to their home and/or active in their community with a group of friends they would not be interested in leaving, the thought of relocating can be stressful, which may have a negative impact on their overall health and well being.

So, in the interest of everyone’s comfort, here are some ideas to help ensure your aging parents are being looked after when you aren’t able to be there.

  • Work with your parent(s), during your next family visit, on a home modification and safety checklist. Retrofitting a home and adding new security technology can make a big difference in their personal safety as well as expand the opportunity for parents to remain in their current home.

  • Check in with “next door neighbors” that are also good friends. Include them in the safety net you are building. One favorite story I once heard is how two older neighbors, who each lived alone, used their kitchen lights and window shades as a way to let each other know every morning that everything was fine. If the light was off and the shade still down, someone needed help.
  • Create a special place, with your parent(s), for important “stuff”: emergency phone numbers, family member phone numbers, doctors names and numbers, location of wills, etc. Keep a copy of this list for yourself. At Family Staffing Solutions, we have created a Put It In Writing organizer for just this purpose. It’s available in our bookstore and is an amazing collection of 400 exercises that consolidate everything from family history and heirlooms to personal business documents to make sure everything is handled the way your aging parent(s) want them to be.
  • Include a new person in the partnership plan with your parent(s). If they are located in one of Family Staffing Solution’s cities, call office to arrange a caregiver introduction. If there isn’t a Family Staffing Solutions office in their area, call us toll-free at 1-866-383-5670 and we would be delighted to assist you in finding high-quality services or companies available in your parent(s) community.
  • Consider opening your own Family Staffing Solutions office. Our franchise availability and training have empowered many communities to provide excellent in-home elder care to loved ones across the United States. Just call us toll-free at 1-866-383-5670 and we’ll be happy to speak with you about this incredible opportunity to enhance your community.

I hope you’ve found this information helpful and invite you to pass it along to your friends. Remember, if you have a question about elder care or just need advice or someone to listen, all you have to do is Ask Becci!