What to Do When Your Loved One Needs Long Distance Care


Filed under Friends & Family

You took that fantastic job offer in another state. Mom and dad were healthy and fine. As time passed, you were promoted and became successful. Dad passed away and mom is not doing well on her own. She’s reached an age where daily assistance may be necessary and you’re a thousand miles away. How do you manage this situation without picking up and moving your family or your mother? If this scenario sounds familiar, remote care giving might be the answer.

“This scenario plays out each and every day in thousands of American’s lives,” says Richard Bitner of Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services. “I had relocated to Florida in 1985 and my mother followed shortly after. In 2000 I relocated back to Pennsylvania to start a life with a new wife and family. My mother stayed and many questions arose. What do I do if she cannot live day-to-day being able to care for herself? How can anyone take care of a loved one so far away?”

That’s when Visiting Angels began to focus on remote care giving and taking the burden off families and loved ones of those that need care. “Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are not the only options available,” says Bitner. Non medical home care allows your loved one’s to live where they want to be … their own home.

Visiting Angels has more than 300 offices around the country to help educate families and provide care to loved ones. Here are some questions to consider when determining if your loved one needs professional care:

• Does your loved one need assistance with walking? * Has their physical and/or emotional health been declining?

• Are they able to prepare nutritious daily meals? * Are they able to shop for themselves?

• Are they able to manage their bills and financial responsibilities?

• Are they taking their medications on time? * Are they still able to drive safely?

• Are they in need of companionship?

• Are they able to dress and groom themselves?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, professional home care might be an option for you. When considering agencies, choose one that can offer more than basic homemaker services, including dressing, bathing and other hygienic activities. Because not all states require licensing, be sure to check that the agency is bonded, insured and licensed.

For piece of mind for you and your loved one, understand the caregiver’s background and experience. Agencies should be able to provide you this along with conducting a criminal background check on its employees. You also should be able to meet with the caregiver before you agree to services to make sure that personalities match and you are comfortable with the service they provide.

“And you should be entirely comfortable with the person helping your loved one,” adds Bitner. “For example, at Visiting Angles, we try to match the personalities of our clients with the personalities of our caregivers. If something doesn’t fit, we find someone who does. This makes everyone happy and allows us to give the best care possible.”

Since home care services are non-medical, they currently are not covered by Medicare. But you do have options. Home care services can be paid individually or by long term care insurance. Often, funds from associations are available as well. For example, contact the organization that is involved with the illness that your loved one is afflicted with. Funds are sometimes available for their members.

Veterans and their spouses might qualify for the Disability Pension for Aid and Attendance. Others decide to take out a reverse mortgage. Whatever your situation, the proper research can determine the best route for financing care.

Most importantly, stay in contact with your loved one and the people involved in their care. Establish periodic phone calls and visit when you are able. Conversation shows you care whether you are in the same room or across the country.

Article courtesy of ARAcontent

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