Plan Ahead for Relaxing Trips
to Your Senior
The Senior Advisor
4th Quarter 2003
I'm planning a trip home to visit
my invalid mother. How can I spend quality time with her and
not worry about caregiving issues while I'm back?
Anyone who's ever tried to care for an ailing, aged family member
miles away knows your challenges. You may feel that going
home will never again be the same. Bill paying, doctors' appointments
and house cleaning often replace the relaxing, enjoyable visits
of years past.
You can take comfort in the fact that you're part of a growing
demographic group. By the year 2030, one in five people is
projected to be at least 65, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,
a statistic that has considerable ramifications for families who
are separated by geography. The latest statistics show that
you are among nearly seven million Americans who provide or manage
care for a relative or friend age 55 or older at least one hour
Even though you'are miles from home, it's important to
strive for the kind of time together that you once knew. “"Caregiving
is so much more than checking with doctors and rearranging medications,”
says author Pamela Stone, whose forthcoming book about long-distance
caregiving addresses the challenges of these situations. “"Spending
precious time with your loved ones also is vital.”
Now that you're a long-distance family caregiver, life may never
be the same as it once was. However, advance planning and
organization can help you make trips home more fun. If you've
been trying to do it all, consider contacting a geriatric care manager.
These professionals are trained in gerontology, social work, nursing
or counseling, and can help arrange a care schedule to put your
mind at ease while you're gone and make visits home more relaxing.
The geriatric care manager might recommend that you hire a caregiver to help out as well. There are two types of caregivers: medical and non-medical. Medical caregivers, such as those provided by a home health care agency, are trained to administer hands-on care. Non-medical caregivers, such as those provided by Home Instead Senior Care, offer such services as companionship, meal preparation and light housekeeping. Geriatric care managers often recommend one type of caregiver or the other, or a combination of the two, to help long-distance families manage and enjoy quality time at home.
Finally, remember to build plenty of time into your schedule so
that you and your loved one can do everything you've planned when
you go home. Making a list beforehand can help you and your
senior make the most of your time together.
For more information about Home Instead Senior Care, contact, visit their Web site at www.Homeinstead.com. You may also contact Pamela Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Stone is working on a book about long-distance caregiving.
She is a syndicated writer and author of A Woman's Guide to Living
Alone: 10 Ways to Survive Grief and Be Happy.