According to the Census Bureau, only about 4.6% of US family households are multigenerational. This is reflective of the process by which we move away from our parents in pursuit of our goals. As our parents age, however, we often find this distance a detriment to managing their care. So how can you ensure your parent(s) is attending and obtaining the appointments they need? The Westfield home care experts offer long-distance family caregivers a few tips:
- Establish your presence with their doctor. Your parent can give their doctor permission to speak with you about medical conditions and scheduling appointments. Discuss with their doctor your concerns about routine appointments and health issues. Committing to open communication with the primary care physician will provide you with the most accurate information, especially if your loved one is becoming fuzzy on details. Additionally, if you find yourself coordinating care with a caregiver, your parent, primary care physician and specialists, having an established relationship with the primary doctor will offer continuity to the process.
- Keep a record of appointments. If your parent is tech savvy, you can create a shared calendar accessible through a web platform (such as Google’s calendar). However, if your aging loved one’s isn’t so tech savvy like much of the older generation, keep a record of all appointments on your own and check with your parent often to verify the schedule. If they’re having trouble remembering appointments or becoming easily confused, having your own record of appointments will clear up any misunderstandings.
- Communicate with your parent often. Managing care from afar can be difficult because we often can’t visually assess our parent’s condition, nor are we cognizant of their daily concerns. Not being able to determine their care needs, even if they only need minimal assistance or hourly care in Westfield, can lead to more serious physical and mental health concerns. If your parent is the type to devour your news while downplaying their issues, regular contact will be integral in getting them to open up about potential problems.
Family caregivers, regardless of proximity to their parent, must set aside time specifically for attending to their parent, consistently and reliably. Keeping abreast of the most recent information is crucial, and communication is key.
If you are concerned about the health, wellness or safety of an aging parent or loved one in New Jersey, contact Home Care Assistance of Westfield today. From our top management to our highly experienced and compassionate caregivers, we have the care process in place to provide your loved one with the care and assistance they need, while offering you peace of mind knowing they are in professional and caring hands. Call 908-450-9400 to learn more about our in-home care services and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Care Managers.