Aging isn’t easy — and it’s even more complicated when seniors live more than a few miles from their family and friends. Seniors tend to require more support from their loved ones while living independently and performing everyday tasks, which can pose a challenge for those without close friends or relatives nearby. There’s housework to be done, meals to prepare, lawns to maintain, and other responsibilities to attend to — and age-related health conditions and impairments can make these daily tasks much more of a challenge than they used to be.
Fortunately, it’s still possible to lend a helping hand to the seniors in your life, even if you can’t physically be there to help your loved ones each day. Check out these tips from WytCote Technologies to learn how to help your senior loved ones from near or far.
Compare Senior Services and Programs
When seniors live more than an hour away from their loved ones, they can’t always rely on their friends and relatives for help with errands and doctor’s visits. But thanks to home delivery, errand running, and senior transportation services, friends and family members can help their senior loved ones in other ways — even when they can’t physically drive them to appointments or drop off groceries each week.
To help your senior loved ones from afar, take some time to compare local programs and services that offer meal or grocery delivery, errand running, companion care, or senior transportation services. Personal care services, housekeeping, and specialized home health care are also available.
If your loved one needs help preparing meals, for instance, you might consider signing him up for a healthy meal delivery service through Snap Kitchen or Freshly. Or, if your loved one needs help getting to and from doctor’s appointments, you could explore senior-friendly transportation options such as GoGoGrandparent or Veyo. There are lots of ways to lend a helping hand to your loved one, regardless of how far away you may live.
Rely on Senior-Friendly Tech
Like the senior services highlighted above, different types of technology can help your loved ones to live independently at home. Ring Doorbells, for instance, can help your senior relatives to feel safer in their houses — and make it easier for them to answer their doors to strangers when home alone. You can even be added to your loved one’s account so you can keep an eye on your senior’s Ring camera and track who’s coming and going.
Setting up smart home devices in your loved one’s home is another great way to help him or her from afar. The Amazon Echo, for instance, is a hands-free smart home device that can be used for everything from checking the weather to listening to the news. Your loved one can use it to make and receive phone calls, listen to music, set reminders and alarms, and get recipes and cooking tips.
The Amazon Echo Show is another great option for seniors, as this device features a smart display and can be used to stream movies and videos, video chat with loved ones, and play classic games like Jeopardy! and 20 Questions. You can even give yourself access to your loved one’s device so you can share photos and videos with your senior at any time.
Keep Senior Stress to a Minimum
As we age, the negative effects of stress become much more profound. Chronic stress can increase our risk of developing heartburn, insomnia, and heart disease — and it can lead to a myriad of symptoms ranging from back pain and headaches to irritability and concentration issues. This is why it’s so important to help your senior loved ones to manage their stress: teach them to calm down when they’re feeling overwhelmed, encourage them to exercise regularly, and remind them to step outside each day for some fresh air and sunshine.
Some other things seniors can do to relieve stress include:
- Completing crossword puzzles and word searches.
- Learning new hobbies and skills (e.g. cross-stitching, gardening, or painting).
- Meditating and practicing mindfulness.
- Joining a senior support group.
Though you can’t be with your senior loved one each day, you can still help him or her to live a happy, stress-free life from afar. Regularly check in with your loved one via phone call or email, and video chat with your parent, relative, or friend if he or she uses technology. You could also check in with your loved one’s neighbors and care team to see if they have any concerns about your senior’s health and well-being.
Know When It’s Time for Senior Living
As much as you’d love to keep your senior loved one at home for the rest of his or her life, aging in place isn’t always possible. Your loved one may get to a point when he can’t perform his activities of daily living (ADLs), keep up with household tasks, or take his medications as directed. Your loved one may also live in a home that requires extensive modifications for aging in place, and perhaps transitioning into senior living would be a more cost-effective option.
Whatever the case, it’s important to know when it’s time for your loved one to transition into senior housing. Maybe your loved one’s physical or mental health is declining rapidly, or your own health is suffering and you can no longer care for your loved one from afar. There are several different types of senior housing communities for you and your family to consider, including assisted living, senior condos, and skilled nursing home facilities.
Be There for Your Senior, Even When You’re Miles Away
Aging has its challenges, and it’s normal for seniors to rely on their younger relatives for more things as time goes on. But when seniors have few relatives living nearby, it can be difficult for them to find the help they need to live independently at home.
This is where you come in. You can help your senior loved one no matter where you live by teaching her stress-reduction techniques, signing him up for meal or grocery delivery services, and teaching her to use smart devices like Ring Doorbells and the Amazon Echo Show. There are lots of different ways to help your senior relatives each day, even when you’re living many miles away!
WytCote Technologies offers software solutions for senior care facilities. Visit our website to learn more about our services!
Frank is a technology visionary and strategic hands-on executive with over 20+ year track record of helping companies revitalize, restructure, and implement complete Unified Communications systems in national and global markets.