Guide to Long-Distance Caregiving

02 May, 2021

Those who live overseas know about the frustrations and difficulties of coping with the responsibilities of having aging parents who live miles away from them. Caregiving itself requires a lot of strength and persistence. The worry of facing the challenges of caregiving when you are not next to them is way more overwhelming. 

Our clients who are currently not living in England but their parents do, share their experience about how they felt at the thought of not being able to be next to them, support them, prepare meals, help with medication management, etc. 

One of our users, Harvey Evans, once shared his story:

“…I was offered to manage the Luxembourg branch of the company I work at. So, as they say in the movie “The Godfather”, it was an offer I couldn’t deny. I moved to Luxembourg with my wife and had to leave my Mom alone, as she was against relocating.
Trust me, long-distance caregiving is much more stressful. I even started to think that my career was not worth it. Even when I was in Brexton, anytime my mother didn’t answer my calls, my anxiety would swallow me.
My Mom has asthma and needs to take her pills on a daily basis and always have her inhaler with her. Elunow saved her physical and my mental health.”

Living far away from their elderly parents makes people feel a sense of guilt and be stressed. Here we share tips regarding long-distance caregiving that helped them to find ease of mind while supporting their parents to stay as safe as possible. 

Plan Ahead What You’ll Need To Do

If your parent or parents have deteriorating health issues you should be prepared in advance. Make plans for what you’ll need to arrange. Start with having a caring but honest conversation with them when you visit or over the phone, and make sure to come up with an acceptable solution for everyone.
You should also contact the doctor and get their medical and meal plans. Sometimes, especially if the Seniors have dementia or memory deterioration, they forget to take some medicine or take the same pill more than needed.If this is the case, you should either call them really frequently and remind them to take their pills or just make sure to have someone assisting your parents.

  “Of course I have really pleasant neighbors, and many friends in Brexton, but they have their routine and I didn’t want to complicate their lives. One of my friends told me about Elunow and I decided to hire a care assistant to visit Mom daily and keep track of her health and routine. To be honest, I used to not have trust in care agencies or services, so the first time I hired the assistant while we were still in Brexton. But Ava (the name of the care assistant) stole my Mom’s heart and became like a daughter to her, so only then we left the country with a clear conscience and heart.”-adds Harvey.

Organize Virtual Calls and Discussions 

Regular phone calls with your parents will eventually become not enough.  If they don’t already know, teach them how to use a computer or tablet. Check out how well and happy they’re looking by talking to them face to face. Arrange specific days and times to make time for them and chat about their day.

Have Trusted  Local Friends

Having people you can trust and who live near your parents will help you to have peace of mind. If they are living close to your parents, often communicate with them – ask them to watch for your parents and provide help when necessary.
Having trusted friends near your parents is perfect, but they simply cannot make sure everything is fine 24/7, especially if your parents have a medical plan to follow, so it’s better to organize daily visits of professional care assistants, which may seem to be a complicated process, but is actually quite easy with Elunow.   

“I can book or cancel 24 hours before the visit if I’m not mistaken. Anyways, I booked 3 months in advance and didn’t regret it. Ava visits her and they do a video call with us. They go grocery shopping together, cook, and even do meditation. Ava keeps an eye on her health so I can focus on my career.
My wife and I will be back to Brexton in a month to manage the branch I used to work at, and I feel like my Mom is sad that Ava will not visit her that often. “

Make the House They Live in as Safe as Possible

Most of our aging parents want to stay at home and be independent. If your parents have decided not to go into a care home, start making the house they live in safe and secure. Make sure they have any mobility aids they need. They may also need help with keeping the house and garden properly maintained.

If you’re worried your parents aren’t dressing clean, eating well, taking care of themselves as they used to, you should consider hiring a care assistant. It’s advisable to find qualified carers. Their services may include anything from helping with washing, meal preparing,  and dressing to chores around the house.

Waiting for your next visit to the UK to find a carer may be too late. Flights are expensive and time-consuming. With Elunow you can be resourceful, you will save both time and money.  If your parents need help, don’t postpone your hiring decision. 

Look Out for Signs

Your parents may not show that they are barely coping with day-to-day activities. In fact, they may say they are able to manage it all. It’s natural, they may not want to make you worried about their problems. But you should look out for signs when you talk with them via online video chats.  How are their appearance and behavior? Do they make time for their usual activities or hobbies?

If you start noticing things that are not right and worrying, request one of your family members or friends to visit your parents. In fact, it would be safer if you hire a qualified care assistant to take care of them on a regular basis. Hence they will not feel isolated, especially if they are living alone. A  friendly carer will prepare a cup of tea for them, help with the tasks and prepare nutritious meals for them. 

Where should you look for a carer? Try out Elunow, the best solution for those who need quick and high-quality care services. All of the registered care assistants at Elunow are qualified, they get professional training and we organize a background check for each of them. Every step in the platform from finding to completing the care is made to be an easy and safe experience for our clients. You will get reports after the visit, follow what is going on at home, and track the care that you order.

Take Care of Yourself

Take care of yourself. Separate time for your work, health, and personal life. You can’t help your parents if you are stressed, worried or feeling unwell. Their well-being depends on yours, so you have to prioritize your healthy daily routine and state of mind.