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Take care of aging loved ones across the miles

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Posted May 27, 2018

Helping a senior loved one with their daily activities can be difficult even when you live nearby, but when you’re far away, it can be an overwhelming. There are so many details to think about including transportation, medication and doctor appointments, and health issues. It’s not always easy to know instinctively what the best ways are to help the senior in your life stay safe and healthy.

Senior woman. Image credit: MarvinRoaw via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

Fortunately, there are many apps and services these days that will help make your loved one’s life much easier and give you peace of mind. With the assistance of a smartphone or tablet, you can help your parent or relative become more independent and ensure that their needs are taken care of. From apps that will help your older adult remember when to take medication to local ride-sharing services, there are plenty of ways to help your loved one even when you’re far away.

First things first

One of the best things you can do for your loved one is to help decide whether or not to downsize. If the parent lives alone in a large house–especially if there are stairs to contend with–consider helping to find a smaller home or an assisted living facility. After a certain age, many seniors find it necessary to move so they’ll have less to take care of and won’t be in danger of an injury-inducing fall.

If your loved one does decide to downsize, it might be necessary for you to travel to help sort through personal belongings and figure out what to keep and what to sell, throw away, or donate. This can be a tough process emotionally, so remember to be patient and let your loved one lead the way. Ask your loved one if they would like to store photos electronically by using a scanner for photo albums and scrapbooks and uploading them to a thumb drive.

Transportation

If your loved one has problems with vision or mobility, it’s possible to find a local senior ride-sharing service. Seniors might even bond with others during the ride. Do some research on senior living facilities that offer rides to doctor appointments and other locations and talk to your loved one about setting up an Uber account.

Stay connected

You can stay connected to your loved one no matter how far apart you are with apps such as  Skype. Set up with a smartphone or tablet and download the app so the two of you can video chat whenever you like for free.

Apps to remember

If your loved one has health issues or many medications to take every day,  apps including Pillboxie, help to track medication and schedules reminders. Suggest your parent talk to a doctor about the app and the best way to use it.

Health matters

These days, there are several apps that are designed to help users keep track of their health, an important part of any senior’s life. Here you’ll find a list of many applications that pertain to the heart and pulse, allowing your loved one to track heart rate and even track and sleep habits.

Your loved one’s quality of life is important, but you don’t need to be nearby to provide assistance. Keep communication open and look for ways to help your loved one to stay active and vital in the community, such as joining a club or organization.

Written by Janet Campbell

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