Being away from your loved ones can be difficult, especially when they require your care and assistance. Sad to say, this is quite common in this day and age as people move away to pursue jobs, raise their own families, have adventures, etc., leaving behind senior parents or loved ones with disabilities.
But despite the absence and the obvious challenges, such arrangements are far from devastating. There are, in fact, a multitude of caregiving apps, websites, and other resources that you can use to ensure that your absence, though felt, is not at all debilitating to your senior or differently abled loved one.
So let’s explore how you can make their lives easy, comfortable, and safe using the internet and tech tools, no matter where you are in the world.Is a loved one in your family suffering from dementia? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Mike Chua to find support.
Provide for their needs.
It’s hard to believe that barely just two decades or so ago, long-distance caregiving was a real logistical nightmare. While the world was steadily moving toward globalization, the technology and e-commerce infrastructure was still being conceived.
Thankfully, the internet has changed shopping—and for the better, at that. Today, it’s almost too easy to simply log on to an e-commerce site and buy everything from clothing to prescription medicine, and easily have it shipped—in many cases, as quickly as the next day—to your senior loved one’s home. It’s almost second nature to do so, and you barely have to think twice to do exactly that on a regular basis.Of late, this has even become easier, if that’s at all possible. Case in point, you can sign up your loved one for a grocery or meal delivery service. In fact, a retailer like Costco delivers to most metropolitan locations on the same day with just a minimum order of $35, so you can efficiently stay on top of your loved one’s health needs and ensure that they receive food that’s truly fresh —and without putting much of a dent in your budget.
Keep an eye on them.
Of course, possibly one of the most difficult things about long-distance caregiving is not being readily on hand to ensure that your senior or disabled loved one is safe, comfortable, and exactly where they should be. Thankfully, technology has progressed in such a way that this is already easily remedied by way of the right gadgets, particularly wearable tech.There are, in fact, a good roster of tracking devices for seniors that are worth exploring. Activity or fitness trackers are common enough, which can be great in ensuring that they are getting the right amount of physical activity daily to support their health.
For loved ones who have conditions like dementia, a location tracker may be more appropriate, so you can easily track them on your own smartphone if they somehow wander off or become disoriented and get lost.
A medical alert system is also worth considering, as well, especially when your loved one has a health condition or mobility issue, so they can get immediate medical attention if they fall or exhibit certain symptoms.
Maintain the bond.
Lastly, even the most cutting-edge tech will be no substitute for your love and attention. However, communication tools like video-call apps can be a close-enough solution.
These will essentially keep you connected anytime that you want and for as long as you’d like without the hefty phone bills. So it’s arguably the next best thing as being in the same room with your senior loved ones.
We owe our thanks to modern technology as it has become easier than ever to care for loved ones in need from afar. Again, it’s no replacement for the comfort of your physical presence and the efficiency of your personal attention, but it’s not at all a bad backup, either.
So go ahead and maximize the internet and tech tools available, but also pay your loved one a visit as much as you can.