Caring From a Distance: Respite for Caregivers
The latest senior stats are fascinating: We’re living, on average, 30 – 40 years longer than we did as recently ago as 1930. More than 76 million Baby Boomers are reaching or have already reached senior status. At latest count, more than 34 million Americans were serving as family caregivers for older loved ones. But we’re also a mobile society; so what happens when family members live at a distance and are unable to physically provide senior care?
One solution is respite care, which can be molded in a variety of ways to fit each family’s particular circumstances. Once the senior’s individual needs are determined – transportation to medical appointments, help with housework and meals, running errands, friendly companionship to combat isolation and depression, etc. – you can then explore options to ensure these needs will be met, including:
- Coordinating with local family, friends, and neighbors. Have a heart-to-heart with those closest to the senior, with whom you both feel comfortable and can trust, explaining the situation and what the older adult may need to remain safe and well cared for. Consider each individual’s strengths, availability, and any limitations that might impede effective care.
- Utilizing technology. There’s an amazing array of technological equipment that can help keep senior loved ones safe and enhance communication with loved ones at a distance: video conferencing apps like Skype or monitoring systems like Guardian, sensors that can be placed on medication bottles, the refrigerator, front door, etc. to track critical activity, medical alert pendants, and so much more.
- Professional in-home caregivers. Trained, experienced senior caregivers are invaluable in providing respite care for families, whether family members live just around the corner from the senior or all the way across the country. Be sure to engage the services of an agency that provides background checks and oversight of its caregivers, and that employs staff members, so that all applicable taxes, worker’s compensation and liability insurance are taken care of.
To The Rescue, with locations in Colorado and Iowa, provides trusted respite care services that allow family members to breathe easier, knowing their senior loved ones are receiving the highest quality care. We begin with a free in-home consultation to meet the senior and his or her family members, and to create a personalized plan of care to address specific needs.
For more resources for seniors, or to learn more about our respite care for seniors that allows them to remain safe and thriving right in the comfort of home, contact us any time at 720-851-2100 (Colorado) or 319-826-6068 (Iowa).