Looking after your parents as they get older has certain challenges, but coordinating their care while you live in another state can be especially difficult. From navigating different time zones to not being physically there to help with day-to-day activities, the emotional and financial stress can pile up quickly. This is a reality impacting about 15 percent of caregivers in the U.S., who are long-distance and living an average of 450 miles away from their parents.
When it comes to caring for your long-distance parent, working with an experienced case manager can help ensure that your loved one is safe, secure, and living their highest quality of life. Case managers are neutral third parties who are experienced in navigating difficult, senior-related family situations for both medical and non-medical services. Here are 10 ways in which they can help:
- Locating paid and unpaid services that will eventually save you time and money. This includes places like local senior centers or adult day cares to services such as low-cost or free meal services such as Meals on Wheels
- Acting as a liaison between all family members, discussing any problems, and setting actionable goals and action plans. This includes continued home visits to speak with and support family members.
- Assess financial or legal difficulties and connect the families with the appropriate professionals.
- Home safety evaluation and suggesting solutions such as permanent independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing home communities.
- Making medical referrals to specialized care and services, such as dementia care, 24-hour services, disability management, and more.
- Booking medical appointments and follow-up appointments
- Negotiating with pharmacies and insurance companies to find financial aid programs and grants.
- Coordinating care with a designated caregiver, making sure meds are on schedule and taken on time or that day-to-day tasks such as washing up and cleaning are taken care of
- Helping keep finances in order, by making sure bills are being paid on time and papers are being properly organized
- Creating an emergency plan that will ensure that you and your parents are prepared to react and deal with any situation as smoothly as possible.
When elderly parents show signs that they are no longer able to take care of themselves, case managers can be the dependable resource your parents may need. If you’d like to learn more about case management for senior citizens, reference our Why is Case Management Important for Senior Citizens? article for more insight, or speak with one of our case managers today at 305-299-4817.