UPDATED: Aug 12, 2020
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Caregiving is one of the most challenging positions to be in. It requires a lot of patience, grit, and effort. Everyone in their life either becomes a caregiver, needs one, or knows of someone that has one. Because we’re all impacted by caregivers, it is important to know remote caregiving tips.
Remote caregiving presents its own unique difficulties. You’re not close enough to your loved one to make sure they’re well taken care of. Yet you still bear the responsibility to make sure they’re cared for in their home and have a good quality of life.
A big part of that is taking care of legal and financial matters including making sure they have the best car insurance, life insurance, or other medical expenses.
If you’re a caregiver looking for any type of insurance, compare quotes from several different companies now with our FREE quote tool above!
Having the proper tools and resources in place can make remote caregiving less stressful and easier. Here are a few tips to make remote caregiving more manageable.
#1 – Install Security Systems
Not being able to physically see your loved one is one of the more frightening things about being a remote caregiver. We’re fortunate to live in a time where this can be easily solved, however.
Installing a security system in your senior loved one’s home will give you peace of mind. It will allow you to keep an eye on things, make sure the house is locked and secured, and let you see if your loved one is okay.
When having a security system set up, make sure you have an alarm in place for intruders. Have the security company go over how to use the system with your loved one.
Make sure your loved one knows how to use the system, the code, where the cameras are, and any other vital information.
Technology can have a higher learning curve for seniors. It’s critical you practice patience when teaching them how to use it.
#2 – Build a Local Support System
Having the proper support system is vital for any caregiver. Remote caregivers can significantly benefit from having the right support team on their side.
Try getting to know the people in your loved one’s area who are trustworthy. If you don’t have family around, introduce yourself to their friends and neighbors.
Once you’re comfortable, ask them if they’d be willing to lend a hand when needed. Assign and keep a roster of trusted individuals you’d be able to contact should something happen.
Keep their address and contact information with you as a precaution. Having this information with you is essential should an emergency occur.
If your loved one is unable to drive, make sure they have someone who can take them to their destinations.
Mobility is one of the more challenging aspects of aging in place, so it’s important to look at a guide for driving as seniors. As we get older, our vision weakens, which can impair driving skills.
The deterioration of vision, as well as other physical aspects, can also cause your loved one’s car insurance to increase since they’re considered high risk. However, the good news is that often insurance companies such as AARP offer discounts for senior drivers.
#3 – Install Smart Home Equipment
Smart home devices can offer a sense of control for any remote caregiver. They give you the ability to turn off lights, adjust the temperature, and more. This can be helpful if your loved one often leaves electronics on and runs up their electric bill.
Combine this with a security system, and the sense of powerlessness that comes with remote caregiving is significantly reduced.
#4 – Ask for Access to Relevant Information
Having access to your loved one’s personal information is essential, especially if they’re prone to health issues. Sit down with your loved one and write down all of their vital information, including banking info, email addresses with passwords, lawyer contacts, medical information, home, health, and car insurance, and more.
Make sure that all insurance policies are up-to-date. Home insurance needs to include adequate coverage for an older home or a new build, whatever the situation requires.
Keep your loved one’s vital information in a secure location that’s easy to get to.
You’ll need this information should anything happen.
Another piece of information to have is any doctor appointments or essential places they need to be. Be sure to check in with them regularly to ask about any plans they have.
Another important insurance consideration is health insurance. Having the right amount of insurance is vital for seniors who often have many different health issues. Not having enough coverage can end up being extremely costly.
Knowing where they’re supposed to be will help you stay in the loop and keep an eye on them. It’s also helpful to know when they’ll be away from their home for security purposes.
#6 – Have an Emergency Plan
Being prepared for any emergency is essential for anyone, let alone remote caregivers. If you aren’t able to be there promptly, have a dedicated person who can assist if anything happens. This person should be trustworthy and capable of being with your loved one quickly.
Having an evacuation plan for fires and other home emergencies is essential as well. Take time to go over an evacuation plan with your loved one. Have a list of contacts they should call should anything happen. Make sure they have the proper emergency tools, such as a fire extinguisher.
Another critical aspect is ensuring their home is safe. Visit your loved one, and while you’re there, do a walkthrough of their house. Look out for fire and trip hazards, sharp objects, or any other things that pose a health risk.
Check out these 79 tips for keeping seniors safe in their homes if you’re not sure what to look for.
Remember You’re Not Alone in Remote Caregiving
The biggest thing to keep in mind is to know you’re not alone in this. Caregiving, although challenging, can also be one of the most rewarding roles to have in life. Caregivers often report becoming closer to the person they care for as a result.
And with the right tools, plans, and resources in place, your caregiving role will become much more comfortable and enjoyable. Use our FREE quote tool below to compare insurance rates for car, health, and home insurance now.