Home care in Melbourne, FL

  • 3270 Suntree Blvd.
  • Suite 101
  • Melbourne, FL 32940

Caregivers' Top Tips for Long Distance Care

Caregiving over long distances is difficult, but it is also a common experience for family caregivers unable to provide round-the-clock care to their loved ones. With the advent of modern-day technology, keeping in touch with aging loved ones is a great way to keep tabs on their health, well-being, and safety. 

Even though many families see each other in person just a few times every year, it's usually during the holidays or for special occasions. Even though health conditions can deteriorate without notice, you can still keep track of your loved one's health by knowing what warning signs to watch out for even if you can't get together often.

When your loved ones live far away from you, keeping track of them can be difficult. At BrightStar Care, we are here to guide you through long-distance caregiving. 

Here are some helpful tips for long-distance caregivers:

Check for any visible changes

The best thing about social media is its ease of use. You can share photos and videos with your loved ones, and video calling is a great way to mimic a face-to-face conversation. You can use all of these methods for catching up with your elderly loved ones so that you can see if any noticeable changes have occurred. If you don't know what to look for, certain physical symptoms are indicative of certain health conditions. Here are some to keep an eye out for: 

  • Expression: When your loved one speaks, how does he or she express their emotions? Do they seem enthusiastic, disengaged, or tired? 
  • Hygiene: How neat and well-groomed do they look? Or do they appear unusually unkempt?
  • Mobility: Do they have difficulty standing up or moving around while you are talking to them? 

You can also observe their surroundings and see if their home is tidy and free of any safety hazards. This is a great way to keep an eye on your loved one's overall health. 

Pay attention to any changes you can hear 

When you are on the phone with your loved one, keep an eye out for their tone of voice. Is it emulating calmness and ease or does it sound unusually stressful and uneasy? Are they stuttering in their voice or coughing between sentences? These signs suggest they are suffering from emotional or respiratory conditions and need to be examined by a doctor. 
In addition, it's important to observe how the conversation is evolving. Are they repeating the same questions repeatedly? Are they easily forgetting information that you've mentioned several times before? It is common for all of us to experience moments of forgetfulness, but these symptoms may also indicate early-stage dementia or medication side effects. 

Be vocal about your concerns

Although it is important to ensure our loved one's safety, it is also important to be mindful of their emotions and feelings. If you are concerned about any surfacing symptoms, confronting your loved one can be challenging. It is best to approach them calmly and patiently to allow them to feel safe discussing these symptoms because they may feel defensive about their independence and capabilities. 

Many seniors prefer to tough out situations and avoid asking for help for fear of appearing to be a burden to their family members. This can be avoided by framing your conversations with questions. Some questions to consider include:

  • In terms of your health, how are things going?
  • How are you doing with your gutters, Mom? We're working on ours.
  • My chores have been a lot! How are yours, Dad?

Be patient if your loved one avoids answering the question or constantly insists everything is fine. This is a great way to engage and segue into a conversation regarding their overall health. If your dad refuses to talk, make a mental note to check in with them again soon. Say, “I know you’ve been meaning to get a few projects done around the house. How is that going? Do you want me to call anyone to help you with them?” 

When reaching out to elder adults, it's great to encourage them by saying how happy you are to be helping them. This creates a safer environment for them to ask for assistance. 
By staying in touch with your loved ones and knowing what to listen to and look for, you will be able to stay on top of their condition and remind them that you love and care about them.

Contact BrightStar Care Melbourne Today!

Contact us today to learn more about our caregiving services! Our office is located in 3270 Suntree Blvd.  Suite 101  Melbourne, FL 32940 You may also call us at 321-730-3021. We look forward to hearing from you!