How to Care for Aging Parents from a Distance

When we live apart from our loved ones, we often find it challenging to help when we want to be there for them. I lived through this experience as a daughter who lived 8 hours away from her parents. I understand the challenges you and your loved ones face. We also work with many families who do not live in the same city. The questions are always the same and they relate to how to support aging loved ones to be safe in their home, or move because they can no longer live in their current home, and be of support without conflict.

In this video, I provide you with the three fundamental steps you can take immediately to support your loved ones through a transition when you live apart.

1. Get on the same page – siblings and parents.
You may need to call a family meeting using Zoom or Skype to discuss what you are seeing. Your parents may not see what you see and they may feel that they can continue to live in their home.
Discuss facts – what are you seeing? What are the challenges? What are some risks and dangers? Lay them out matter-of-factly without judgement or criticism. Support each other by respecting what you are experiencing.
Make a list of what your parents need now and what they will need now and in the future. What are the priorities?

2. Make a plan using the priorities.
What is most important?
What do you need to do first?
Who can help you?
Make a plan of immediate actions you can take to help your loved ones be safe, comfortable and happy. Use resources and professionals to guide you. If you haven’t downloaded the Downsizing Checklist, do so on this page (see the side bar). You can also purchase “The Art of Downsizing: A Step by Step Guide to a Smooth Home Transition”. This book provides answers to the top five questions, long before a loved one is ready to move.

3. Stay in communication with each other.
Continue to monitor your plan. How is it working? What do you need? What do they need?
Set up regular family meetings to discuss what is happening and bring in professionals to guide you along the way.

As you work together to support your loved ones, you will find that navigating this time of transition can be very powerful for your relationships. Count on each other. Share with each other. Respect each other. And be the support your loved ones need.

Remember – you do not have to do it alone. Contact me for help with your own transition plan. I can provide you with a full step-by-step plan after an initial consultation.

My team at Moving Forward Matters can also assist you and your family through the physical process of downsizing as we help you eliminate what you no longer need, use or want and provide you with assistance to help you sell items, prepare your home for the market and help to pack and move you into your new home.

Our team at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? is also there to help. With one phone call, items will be brought to local charity, to the waste site and to local recyclers.

You do not have to do it alone! We are here to help!

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