Long Distance Caregivers: How to Maximize Home Visits with Elderly Parents

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Not everyone lives near, let alone in the same state, astheir parents. So being able to pop over for an emergency or make frequenttrips to see them is not always an option. Not being able to visit your parentson a regular basis can leave you with not enough time to really review howthey’re doing. Visiting in short spurts or not often enough can lead toworrying about how they’re doing when you, or anyone, are not around. If youfind yourself in this situation, here are a few tips you can do to take fulladvantage of your visits between spending time with your aging parents but alsomaking sure they are safe.

Tip 1: Leave the House

The couple of stairs up to the front door of your parents’home are an easy task for you to do but what about your parents? Do theystruggle? One way to find this out is to pick an activity that you can enjoyoutdoors. See how they navigate leaving their home. Does it seem like they needa handrail when going down the steps? If they seem to have an issue using thesteps outside, suggest putting a handrail in, or installing a ramp or stairlift instead by contacting a mobility company like us who canprovide the right tools to fit your needs.

Tip 2: Go for a Drive

Take this time to see their driving ability and evaluate ifthey might need a refresher course.

Tip 3: Cook Together

This is a great way to see what items your parents can reach,what they can or cannot easily access, and what kitchen items are beingavoided. Some things to look out for:

·  Heavy dishes on a highshelf: move these to a lower andaccessible

·  Knobs difficult to use: replace them if they show difficulty using (especiallyif they have arthritis)

·  Expired food: throw these out and see if it seems to be a problem (ie.looking at expiration dates and figuring out how long its been in there)

Tip 4: Look for safety issues

We want our loved ones to be as safe as possible. Byevaluating their home, you can see what items or situations need attention.Here is a helpful safety checklist to help guide youonwhat you may need to look for. While you’re at it, take care of any householdchores that they need help with that they cannot do on their own.