Caring For Mom and Dad From Afar

You want to take that job in New York, but you worry about being so far from mom and dad, now that they’re over sixty. Never fear, help is here. From apps to video monitoring, it is now easier to keep tabs on elderly loved ones more than ever.

Daily video monitoring

A number of video monitoring services let you keep close tabs on your aging parents. These can be invaluable if your parents have physical limitations or moments of confusion.

You should, however, get your parents’ consent before installing nanny cams in their residence. Your parents may be quite willing to pardon the invasion into their privacy as a trade off for getting to stay in their homes.

In discussing this possibility with your elders, be sure to frame the camera as a way to keep them living independently. The exception to getting consent, of course, is a parent with advanced dementia.

Medical alert jewelry

It may seem too obvious, but a medical alert bracelet or necklace can go a long way toward easing your mind and that of your parent. If he or she falls and can’t get back up or breaks a bone, they pushe a button and help is on the way.

Some companies have answered the challenge to create stylish medical jewelry that doesn’t scream “I have health issues.” Disguising a medical alert in a lovely accessory could go a long way to reconciling a parent to the need for it.

Help them stay on the road

Some adult children think it’s their right and duty to take away their parents’ car keys. But research shows that old people are the safest drivers on the road. And driving may well be the way a parent defines their independence.

In the absence of cause like dementia or blindness, parents should be encouraged to upgrade to safer vehicles, rather than having driving privileges revoked. Power seats, power windows, state of the art brakes and wipers, and good rear and side mirrors should be a priority.

AARP offers “car fit” programs that help individuals decide what car is the safest and most comfortable fit for them.

If your mother or father is now afraid to drive or unfit to drive, consider setting him or her up with Uber or another app that brings a driver safely to their door and delivers them to church.

Caring for Dad’s dog

A companion animal like a dog or cat can be extremely comforting to an old person. A dog or cat needs to be cared for, exercised, and shown love daily. This provides meaning for an elderly person who may be starting to feel irrelevant.

If your parents are still fit, walking a dog every day does wonders for longevity. If they have become disabled, helping them keep their companion animal may be the best thing you can do. Many aging specialists believe that the benefits of keeping a dog or cat outweigh the risks, even when the dog is a big one and may pull too hard on the leash.

If walking his dog has become difficult for dad, and you are worried he might break a hip, hire a dog walker to walk the dog while your dad walks alongside. This will maintain the bond that dog and dad have forged through their walks.

Some care services will provide both household duties, like cooking and cleaning, together with dog walking. If there is no alternative to a nursing home, find one that allows pets.

So go ahead and take that promotion in New York, knowing that mom and dad have the care they need. Many thanks to modern technology for making it so.

Article submitted by Elmer George

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