It's not always easy to watch your parents grow older, but it is a natural part of life. It's normal to have some concerns about the safety of your elderly parents, especially if you don't live in the same area. However, implementing some of the following ideas can keep them safe while giving you peace of mind.
Have a Contact Plan
It's even more important to check in with your elderly parent on a regular basis when you live far away. If an emergency occurs, your mom or dad might not always be able to call for help. Therefore, setting up a contact plan can help both you and your parent.
The exact details will vary based on your situation, but it's important to have a specific time in place. For instance, you might decide that your mom will call you around 8 p.m. each night. If you don't hear from her at your regular time, you can give her a call to check in. If you're unable to reach her, you can alert someone local and have them check on the situation.
Ask the Hard Questions
If you're going to be able to truly help your parent, honesty is key. Encourage your dad to be open and honest with you about his medical issues and struggles. If your mom can no longer prepare meals because of her back pain, you need to know so you can find a solution. It might seem uncomfortable at first, but don't be afraid to ask the hard questions so you can get a clear picture of what is going on.
Consider Professional Assistance
There are many professional services that can make your job easier. If your mom is having difficulty with meal preparation, hire a local meal preparation service to deliver healthy and delicious dinners. If your dad has anxiety about his safety when living alone, use an alarm system monitoring service to give him peace of mind.
You can also enlist the help of trained companions, home health care aids, drivers and many other services to keep your parent cared for and content.
Caring for an elderly parent is not always easy, but you don't need to feel like you should do everything alone. Asking for help is a great way to relieve your stress, and your parent will likely benefit from additional interactions with other people.