Not all families have the advantage of living close to each other. But that’s not to say that they can’t take good care of each other. Sure, being able to pop in every afternoon or visit on the weekends is great, but it’s not entirely necessary. So, even if you live far away from your parents, you can make sure that they’re well taken care of. And it’s not too difficult to do, considering the tools and resources available nowadays.
In preparing for your parents’ retirement, you need to prioritize their safety and emotional wellbeing. To achieve this, it’s crucial that you work together, as a team, to find the absolute best solutions for everyone. Be attentive to their needs, but also make sure that you address your primary concerns. You’ll need to survey their living situation and try to assess any possible issues.
This way, you can stop potential problems before they even happen.
Whether your parents have decided to downsize or intend to continue living as before, it’s important that you take a close look at where they will be located. Some areas and neighborhoods are more suitable for the elderly due to higher levels of security, as well as being home to people of the same generation, but not everyone has the possibility to move to such a location.
For this reason, you’ll want to take some precautions so that the entire family can have peace of mind:
- Install a safety system. Set up surveillance cameras, smoke detectors, automated locks, and emergency buttons. All of these can work together to keep your parents (and their material belongings) safe in case of an emergency.
- Make adjustments to high-risk areas such as stairs, kitchens, and bathrooms. Invest in flood sensors, grip bars, and automated lighting that will help prevent at-home injuries.
- Store important documentation and valuables inside a safe, and make sure you and any other emergency contacts know how to access them.
Keep In Touch
One of the best things you can do to be there for your folks (even if you’re living far away) is to check in with them on a regular basis. Today, there are numerous communication options you can use, from simple phone calls or text messages to email or video calls.
Furthermore, it’s a good idea to set a schedule for your communication. For example, if you agree that you’ll call each other every day at 6 pm, the calls will eventually turn into a habit that will be unlikely to slip your mind. Plus, regular communication will allow both you and your parents to stay in the loop regarding each other’s daily lives, strengthening your existing bond.
Have Plan for Emergency Situations
Instead of waiting for something bad to happen to figure out what you should do, it’s not a bad idea to agree on a course of action in case of an emergency. For example, if you don’t manage to get a hold of your loved ones on the phone, it’s good to have the number of a trusted friend or neighbor who can check in on them.
Similarly, if there is a medical emergency, it’s important that you have access to their health insurance information, as well as any legal documents you may require. You can easily store copies of these in secure cloud storage, which makes them accessible from anywhere.
Encourage a Rich Social Life
Socialization has a number of proven benefits, and not just for the elderly. If your current situation prevents you from keeping your aging loved one’s company, it’s important that you encourage them to interact with people. Whether it’s with neighbors or extended family members who live nearby, any opportunity to mingle with people is a great one.
Furthermore, seniors can benefit from joining creative workshops, exercise classes, or traveling. Participating in such activities will open up the possibility of meeting new, like-minded people, meanwhile being beneficial to their health and overall mental state.
No matter how far away you are from your parents, you want them to have the best quality of life well into old age. Not being able to care for them yourself can surely make this difficult, but not impossible. So remember, your loved ones being supported and content, even when you’re not physically present, is absolutely achievable – all it requires is open communication and some safety precautions. With these in place, retirement can be a time to enjoy life to the fullest.