When You’re in NY and They’re in Napa: Home Care Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers
Living far away from senior loved ones in Napa can make home care needs easier to overlook. In fact, many adult children of aging parents don’t realize that Mom and Dad need help until they come home for a visit or spend extended time together during the holidays. If you’re a family caregiver who lives at a distance from your older loved one, it becomes that much more important to have a plan in place for emergencies and care.
The Napa home care experts at Hired Hands Homecare have put together these helpful tips to assist in this endeavor.
When you can’t just drive across town to help out, it’s important to have family discussions about the “What Ifs” that could arise with your loved ones, including:
- Living situation preferences depending on severity and who is involved—play out some scenarios for discussion; for example, a fractured hip requiring a rehab stay.
- How will you know when “it’s time” to make a change? What would this look like?
- Financial concerns in caregiving, such as how much work can family members afford to miss? What outside financial assistance might be available?
- Advance directives for decision-making: make sure all is in order and keep a copy with you.
Assess Along the Way
When you don’t see your loved ones everyday, it can be tempting to want to ignore the often uncomfortable business of assessing health and wellbeing in favor of enjoying each others’ company, but it’s important to regularly think about and assess how your loved one in Napa is really doing.
- Identify the registered nurse working with your loved one’s doctor and maintain communication with that person.
- Be sure there is a HIPAA Release of Information Form on file at all of your elder’s doctors’ offices so you can talk openly with the doctor, and keep one for yourself.
- Have regular telephone contact with your elders to check in and help them problem-solve.
- Maintain a list of the informal local resources: neighbors, church friends, other relatives who can be part of your elder’s support network. Maintain that network and let them know how to reach you and that you welcome their calls.
Determine When to Travel and When to Stay Home
Situations are bound to arise, sometimes at a moment’s notice. You cannot travel for every issue, so decide ahead of time when you will travel and when you will use other resources to help.
- Ask if this is a real medical or care crisis. As a part (not all) of your decision-making, ask the physician, social worker, or nurse for information and his/her opinion on whether you should travel in.
- Can someone else locally take care of the issue at hand or eyeball the situation for you?
- It’s OK to go there just to put your mind at ease as well. If staying home and worrying is going to be less productive for you, then perhaps you should go.
Consider Using Hired Hands Homecare’s Napa Home Care Services
In-home senior care can not only provide exceptional care for a senior loved one, it can also give long-distance family members a greater sense of peace and connection. At Hired Hands Homecare, our professional caregivers have specialized training and can:
- Assess the situation
- Identify problems, gaps, strengths and resources
- Monitor health, activity, nutrition, etc.
- Screen and arrange for other services and assistance
- Coordinate with financial, legal and medical providers
- Communicate regularly with family members
- And much more
If you have a loved one in need of home care in Napa, CA or anywhere within the Marin, Sonoma, Tri Valley or Solano area, contact the caregivers at Hired Hands Homecare. We treat your family like our own.