There was once a time, not so long ago, when caring for an aging parent or loved one from miles away was almost impossible. Thankfully, the addition of technology has been a time-saver and worry-reducer for most loving children who are states, or countries, away from their aging parent. If you haven’t had the chance to try out some of the available technology to make long-distance caregiving easier, take time to look at this list of some of our favorites. Use one or all of them to make your situation a bit easier and your time more about your relationship and less about your extra responsibilities.
Using Skype or FaceTime takes checking in on your long distance loved one to a whole new level. Gone are the days of the simple phone call when well meaning caregivers had to guess if Mom sounded well or if she was hiding something. Now, you can connect with your loved one face to face, and have great conversations while also taking the time to scan their face or apartment for signs of possible trouble or concern.
Online Care Calendars
Sites like LotsaHelpingHands.com offer online care calendars. Using these online calendars is not only easy, but it also makes coordinating care a breeze. Send out an email through the platform to family and friends to request assistance with driving Mom to a doctor appointment, stopping by to visit, or even dropping off a meal. The service will send out your request and let people you trust sign up for the tasks. Rallying a local support network has never been easier! Even better, you can appoint other calendar administrators so that you don’t have to be the only one in charge of coordinating duties.
Online Health Portals
Most medical offices now have online patient portals that house not only doctor information, but also follow up notes about test results or upcoming procedures. As a long-distance loved one, you can feel left out of your parent’s medical appointments. Even worse than feeling left out is always wondering if your parent is remembering the details of medical conversations or test results. If you are the health care Power of Attorney (POA) of your loved one, you have a can gain access to their online patient portal. If you are able to find out what is really happening, you can better support your loved one by offering follow up reminders and suggestions for questions to ask.
Medication Management Apps
If your loved one is struggling with managing their ever changing medications, or if there are some confusion issues, downloading a medication management app can be a literal lifesaver. Apps are available for iPhone or Android, and feature reminder alarms that can give you or or your loved one a heads up that it is time to take a specific prescription. Try using an app like MedHelper or Medisafe.
Using technology can give you peace of mind and can give your loved one an enhanced feeling of connection with you. Download a few options today and see which works best for your situation.