Tips for staying in contact when you live far away

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

There is no doubt that living far from loved ones can be challenging. It doesn’t matter whether the distance is a few hours by car or several hours by plane, the importance of maintaining regular contact is important. This can become even more important if you have aging parents who aren’t able to travel as they once did. However, there are some things you can do to make parent care contact a bit easier.

Establish a Schedule for Parent Care Phone Calls

While it might seem silly to you to think that you need to schedule time to talk to your family members who live far away, you might be surprised how quickly a week or a month can pass without even noticing that you haven’t spoken to your elderly parents. You know that your life is busy, what with work, taking care of the house, and all the other activities of life. However, what your parents might see is that they are being neglected. For peace of mind for your parent care, it is important to establish a schedule with your family, so they know when they can expect you to call to talk with them.

Use Alternate Means of Elder Care Communication

With all of the technology that exists today, it certainly makes it easier to keep in touch with your family. Granted, for family members who are in elder care situations, these newer methods may or may not be appropriate. This is where it makes sense to have a conversation with the elderly parent about what communication methods he or she feels comfortable using. You might find that they are perfectly happy to use email to stay in touch between phone calls.

If you find that your parents are computer savvy and are willing to use email, you might also find that they are happy to exchange photos electronically as well. In addition, you may be able to establish communication via video conferencing if their computer is adequately equipped. One option is to install all the necessary computer equipment and train your parents on its use during a visit to their home.

Parent Care Can Go Both Ways!

In some circumstances, you may even find that your worry about parent care communication is unwarranted, as your parents are quite up to date in the newest communication methods. There are some elder care folks who are quite proficient with cell phones and even some of the online social networking sites. You might discover that your parents want to keep up to date with technology in order to continue to follow the lives of their grandchildren via the communication methods that most young people use today.

Enlist Friends or Neighbors for Elder Care Checkups

When your parents live far away, it can be hard, even with frequent phone calls, to feel confident that they are well. You might feel that they don’t want to share everything with you in an effort to keep you from worrying about them. One way to ensure that you have a comfortable level of parent care is to enlist a neighbor or family friend to do elder care checkups for you in person on some sort of regular basis.

If you are the family member who has moved far from what was your home, it might be that you have a relative who still lives in the area who would be willing to do regular physical elder care checkups on your parents for you. This relative could become your eyes and ears into how your parents are really faring.

A Visit Home Can Ease Your Mind

Nothing will make you feel more at ease than to see your aging parents in person. If they are not able to visit you easily, then it is important to make time to visit them on occasion. This might mean a long weekend where you fly out to see them just to check on things. On the other hand, you could always take the family for a week and make it a family vacation that all generations can enjoy.

As you can see, there are many ways to stay in contact when you live far away from your aging parents. It is simply a matter of choosing which methods best fit your situation as well as that of your parents, along with the needs of your family. The important thing is to ensure that you do maintain regular communication.



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