Long-distance caregiving

Does this sound familiar?

  • You live far away but are frequently traveling back to Charlotte Metro and Lake Norman because mom or dad has medical conditions that flare up and require hospitalization, some extra help at home, or a change in living situation. It’s hard on your work to have to be gone so much. Hard on your spouse and kids. And hard on your pocketbook, not to mention your stress level. You are exhausted!
  • Or perhaps you come for a visit only to discover that things are not as you thought they were! There’s a ding in the car from a “little fender bender” dad forgot to mention. Maybe mom’s pills are not very organized and you realize she may not be taking them as directed. Or there’s a room full of packages from the Home Shopping Network and your relative doesn’t seem to be opening or using them.

If you are caring for aging parents long distance, you are in good company. One out of seven families are involved in long-distance caregiving. Many of our clients have adult children who live an hour or more away. Some on the West Coast. Some even in other countries.

We’ve got your back!
We know what it’s like to care for parents from afar. We have systems in place so you can rest assured that your loved one has an ally, someone who will keep tabs on how they are doing, help keep their health conditions well managed, and let you know about any changes that arise.

Give us a call at 704-945-7170.
Or schedule a free initial consultation

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Assessment and care plan

Before we go too far down a path, we like to do a thorough assessment of the situation to be sure we have an accurate picture of your loved one’s strengths and those areas where they might need more support. Some of the things we address might include the following:

  • How are they doing mentally? Are there signs of dementia?
  • Do they need help with medication management?
  • Are they at risk of falling?
  • Are their medical conditions relatively stabilized?
  • Are the doctors talking to each other? Listening to your loved one?
  • Is your relative eating well?
  • Able to drive safely?
  • Are they lonely or isolated?

Once we have the big picture, we then create a customized care plan for your family—what we call your “Resources and Solutions Guide”—filled with specific suggestions for your loved one based on the evidence of what works in elder care, and a biopsychosocial approach to senior health and well-being.

Some recommendations might involve technology. For instance, we often help a client get connected to Zoom or other apps that will help them stay in better touch with family—that means you! Or we might recommend automated pill dispensers for medication management. Or motion detectors to monitor for nighttime restlessness (a sign of a bladder infection or possibly dementia). Or we might suggest a video doorbell to deter “porch pirates” or perhaps illuminate too many visits from an exploitative neighbor or “friend.”

Other recommendations may involve having more in-person support. From finding the best home care for your loved one, to engaging community programs your relative is eligible for, we look for services that meet the needs and will fit well with your family budget.

Some families take the care plan and implement our recommendations themselves. Those who live at a distance, however, often hire us to stay involved with ongoing check-ins and care coordination.

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Ongoing check-ins and care coordination

If your goal is to have an accurate, up-to-date understanding of your parent’s condition as things change, then you might want to hire us for the implementation of the care plan. We arrange for services, take your loved one to the doctor, make sure treatment recommendations are being followed, and remove barriers to solving problems. We let you know about the results of any doctor visits and keep you appraised if we are noticing any new problems arise.

Having us involved on an ongoing basis frees you from care coordination, such as having to oversee in-home caregivers, find transportation to doctor appointments, or apply for community resources from afar. Instead, you get to delegate those concerns to professionals who are experts in aging and have a long-standing knowledge of the local elder care network. Your time is then freed up to provide the love and support that only a daughter or son can give. Your visits become less about crisis management and more about family connection.

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Strategies for aging in place

Most older adults want to age in place. Of course! Let us do a home safety assessment and help you and your loved one understand the services, home modifications, and technology that can make staying at home a safe proposition now and as things change over time.

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Referral to local resources

Part of our assessment involves a candid look at your relative’s finances, as well as their work history, involvement with the military, any long-term care insurance policies in place, etc. Understanding their needs from the assessment, we can then match them to cost-effective programs available in the community, saving your family time and money.

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Recommendations for long-term care communities

It may be that aging in place is no longer the wisest course for your relative. Long-term care may be the best option. There are many superb communities in Charlotte Metro and Lake Norman. We know them intimately and can help you determine which are the best for your unique situation. They each have their own personalities. For instance, some may have a lot of residents who are retired military. Others may have programming that emphasizes the arts or physical activity. We know which communities have a stable staff arrangement and which have high turnover (even high turnover at the administrator level).

We work for you and do not accept referral fees, so you can rest assured our recommendations are not influenced by which community pays the most. Our recommendations are individually tailored and based solely on our assessment of the best fit given your relative’s temperament, needs, and budget.

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