How to Take Care of Aging Parents Long Distance: Proven Tips and Solutions

November 15, 2023
Giselle Bardwell
As our parents age, their needs and the level of care required tend to grow. Balancing work, family, and other responsibilities can be challenging enough, but when your parents live far away, the task of taking care of them may seem unmanageable. With millions of people today living apart from their elderly parents, many are seeking effective solutions for long-distance caregiving. If you are one of them, this guide will help you navigate the complexities of long-distance caregiving and provide you with the best strategies to care for your aging parents from afar.

Knowing when your parents need help is often the first step in providing long-distance care. While it's important to respect their independence, it's crucial to identify any signs that suggest intervention might be needed, such as deteriorating health, forgetfulness, or lack of social interaction. Once you've acknowledged the need for assistance, the question becomes how to properly address these issues from a distance. Managing your aging parents’ well-being from afar requires you to develop systems, procedures, and strategies that can ensure their safety, health, and happiness.

In this guide, we will discuss various aspects of long-distance caregiving, specifically for loved one's who live in Northeast Ohio, including managing medical care, finances, social engagement, and the day-to-day tasks that your parents might struggle with as they age. Key factors such as open communication channels, regular check-ins, and the use of technology can help bridge the distance gap, enabling you to provide the care they need.

Establishing Communication Channels

Communication is one of the crucial factors for long-distance caregiving. The first step to effective communication is ensuring that there are multiple channels to connect with your aging parents. Most elderly individuals today are familiar with technology like smartphones and laptops, allowing for frequent check-ins through phone calls, text messages, or video chats.

Encourage your parents to become proficient in communication apps such as Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime, which can create a more personal connection compared to phone calls. Regular video calls can help you keep an eye on your parent's well-being and visually assess their health and living environment. In addition to scheduled conversations, make sure to have their contact information easily accessible in case of an emergency.

Besides communicating with your parents, it's also important to stay in touch with their doctors, nurses, caregivers, and neighbors. These individuals can provide insight into their daily life, health, and any changes in their behavior or condition. Be sure to have all of their providers' information such as their name, phone number and hospital system. If your parent is comfortable, they may be able to grant you access to their electronical medial record (EMR) through platforms such as MyChart, which is used by Cleveland Clinic and and MetroHealth. 

Managing Healthcare and Medications

Coordinating healthcare from a distance can be challenging but is an essential part of caregiving. Become familiar with their medical conditions, medications, and scheduled appointments. Begin by creating a list of their healthcare providers and medications and store this information in an easily accessible location, both physically and digitally.

Schedule regular check-in calls with their healthcare providers to stay informed about your parent's condition, medications, and treatments. Make sure you are authorized to discuss your parent's healthcare with their medical professionals by having the appropriate documentation in place, such as a healthcare power of attorney.

Investigate options for prescription medication management services, which can package and deliver medications to your parent's door in pre-sorted doses or an in-home service to provide medication setup, administration and oversight. This can help keep their medications organized and ensure that they are taking the correct pills at the correct times.

Consider using telehealth or telemedicine services that allow physicians to assess and manage your parent's health through video calls or messaging apps. Telehealth can be particularly useful in reducing travel-related stress or instances when you can't be present during medical appointments.

Hiring Professional Caregivers and Services

In situations where you can't care for your aging parents personally, hiring professional caregivers or using in-home care services can be a valuable resource. Determine the level of care your parents require, whether it's assistance with daily tasks, personal hygiene, or companionship. Start by researching reputable caregiving agencies in their area, and consider conducting interviews with potential caregivers.

When hiring, ensure that there is frequent communication between your chosen caregiver and yourself. Establish agreed-upon protocols for updates, changes in condition, or how to handle emergencies. While establishing trust with professional caregivers is essential, it's equally important to routinely check in with your parents to ensure they feel comfortable and satisfied with the care they are receiving.

Another option is to look into senior care facilities or assisted living communities if your parent could benefit from a more supportive environment alongside others in their age group. These facilities typically offer various levels of care, social interaction, and activities to keep seniors engaged and healthy.

Utilizing Local Resources and Support Groups

Staying informed about local resources and services available to seniors in your parents' area can help enhance their quality of life. Research local senior centers, which often provide social activities, learning opportunities, transportation, and support services. These centers can foster a sense of community, preventing isolation and loneliness in your aging parents.

Ensure that you are aware of local support groups for both seniors and caregivers. Your parents may benefit from joining Cleveland area groups to connect with others experiencing similar situations, while you, as the primary caregiver, can find valuable resources and support from caregiver support groups in your area.

Another useful resource is the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, which can provide information about various services and programs tailored to your parent's local area. These may include meal delivery programs, transportation services, and volunteer organizations that can benefit your parents and alleviate some caregiving responsibilities on your plate. The City of Cleveland's Department of Aging has great local resources and Senior Living Northeast Ohio has a list of Senior Centers which have activities your loved one may enjoy.


Caring for aging parents from a distance may be daunting, but it's possible to provide the necessary support while maintaining a strong connection. By incorporating effective communication channels, managing your parents' healthcare and medication needs, hiring professional caregivers, and tapping into Cleveland area resources, you can ensure the best possible care for your loved ones.

Though the process might be challenging at times, with the right strategies, planning, and perseverance, you can confidently care for your aging parents from afar. By providing love, support, and attention, you can make a meaningful difference in their lives, whether you're just a phone call away or thousands of miles apart.

Are you or a loved one in need of in-home care? Look no further than BrightStar Care®! Our team of compassionate professionals is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to our clients while also giving back to our community.

We understand that every client has unique needs, which is why we offer a wide range of services to fit your specific situation. Whether you need help with daily tasks, skilled nursing care, or medical staffing services, we have the expertise and experience to provide the best care possible.

At BrightStar Care®, we believe in giving more than just care to our clients. We also give back to our community through a variety of initiatives, making the Northeast Ohio community stronger than ever. Don't settle for anything less than the best in-home care and medical staffing services. Contact BrightStar Care® today and let us help you find the right support to fit your unique needs. Together, we can make your best life possible.