When Doug’s father died, he moved his mother from Indiana to Atlanta to care for her. But try as she might, Doug’s wife Karen can’t get her widowed father to leave Ohio.
If you can’t, or choose not to, relocate your aging parents, the job of caregiver becomes even more difficult. You can’t rush over when they have a problem – you need to take care of it online or over the phone. Being well organized, and keeping all the needed information handy, can help things run smoothly.
Make a contact list of your parents’ friends and neighbors – anyone who could check on them. Be sure these people have YOUR number as well – and tell them to call if there is a problem. Ask your parents to choose a neighbor to give a spare key to in case of an emergency.
Be sure you have the names and contact information for your parents’ doctors and information about their health insurance. You’ll also need a list of the medications they take, any allergies they have and contact information for their pharmacy.
If you plan to pay their bills online, you’ll need details about your parents’ income and expenses, bank accounts, and credit cards.
It might be a good idea to have copies of their will, living will, power of attorney and insurance policies.
See if the post office has a “Carrier Alert” program in their area. Mail carriers will keep their eyes out for accumulated mail if they know an elderly or disabled person lives at a particular address.
Remember, you can also hire a local in-home care agency like SYNERGY HomeCare to help look after your parents. Caregivers can check on your parents several times a week. This option will give you peace of mind that your parents are well-cared for and safe.