Caregiving for Your Elderly Mom from a Distance

empty road

Updated 08/01/2017 10:40pm | Caregiving from a distance means you can’t be there for your elderly mom all the time. The National Institute on Aging defines a long distance caregiver as someone who lives an hour (or more) away from their patient. 

You’re ready to help Mom keep her senior independence while showing her how much you care. Now that you no longer live close to Mom, Alert1 is here to help you find the daily care she needs.


Begin with the Basics

mom with flowers

The first step is to identify the type of care needed. Plan a weekend visit to see Mom. This will give you enough time to assess and gather information about the help that she will need. Make sure you:

  • Create a list of items to discuss. Learning about and respecting Mom’s wishes for care will nip arguments in the bud. Ask her if there’s anything she’d like help with in her day-to-day life. Let her know of any concerns that you have.
  • Check in with the neighbors. As a senior, Mom might not be able to see potential areas of danger in her daily routine. Step out for a walk to get a different opinion. Mom’s neighbors will let you know about any incidents that Mom forgot to mention.
  • Connect with family and friends. Does your sister live closer to Mom? Is your family friend right down the street? Establish a care connection of people near Mom who can answer in any emergency.
  • Craft care roles. Decide who will be doing what in the caregiving support roles. Mom’s friend Ted will take her to get groceries, and your sister will finance the caregiver. Let them know that you are there to help support over the phone. 

Research Care Options

pile of books.alert1

Before you sit down to talk to Mom about extra care, know the different options available. Give a list of your findings to Mom to look over. Be sure to include:

  • The different types of care. Now that she’s elderly, Mom wants to stay independent and age in place. Explain the difference between assisted living and an in-home caregiver to avoid confusion.
  • Doctor recommendations. Mom will be less wary of care options that come approved by a doctor. Ask Mom’s doctor to provide recommendations for extra care. If Mom is hesitant, arrange to meet with her doctor to have the conversation in person.
  • The costs of care. Be upfront about any costs that Mom or your siblings will have to pay. Create a care budget, and review often. Adjustments can be made as the care needs change. Comparing Life Alert costs is a good place to start.
  • Testimonials from friends. Did Mom’s elderly friend Bethany hire a caregiver? Let Mom know! Include any stories or advice from Mom’s senior friends who’ve gone through the process.

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Provide Long Distance Support

grandma drinking milk. alert1 medical alert system

Being a long distance caregiver for Mom means you won’t be able to be there every day. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop supporting her. To stay in touch with Mom and her care:

  • Set up weekly phone calls. Let Mom know that you’re always going to call her on Thursday night at 7pm. She’ll look forward to speaking with you. Plus, you’ll give her caregiver a short break.
  • Save the caregiver’s phone number. In case of an emergency, you’ll want to have the caregiver’s number close at hand. Arrange to have weekly check-in calls about Mom and how the process is going.
  • Plan future visits. Decide how often you’re going to visit Mom, and map out the dates for the next year. Always review how the visits are going when you’re there. Be prepared to care for Mom while visiting, to give the primary caregiver a break.
  • Check in with Mom’s care network. Call Mom’s elderly friends to stay in the know about Mom’s appetite. Review the financial statements with your siblings. Don’t forget to thank everyone for their time and effort. 

A Medical Alert Gives Peace of Mind

pax plus product photo

Mom’s health aid comes three times a week to help out. But what about the other four days when Mom doesn’t have someone else there? Give Mom Alert1’s PAX Plus medical alert. She will always stay safe from senior falls thanks to:

  • Automatic fall detection. Mom used to be worried about falls, but not anymore. If Mom falls and hits her head, the automatic fall detection calls for help. The Command Center operators will make sure she gets the help she needs.
  • Showerproof pendant. Mom loves to take long showers. The PAX Plus pendants are showerproof, keeping Mom safe in the tub.
  • Complete customization. Mom likes to wear her jewelry different ways. Her fall detection pendant slips around her neck or clips to her waist out of the house. At home, her petite help button clasps on her wrist or around her neck.
  • Help all day, every day. Alert1’s Command Center is there 24/7 for Mom. We will stay on the line until help arrives. No matter the emergency, Mom will get the care she needs. 

Show Mom You Care

daughter grandma. alert1 medical alert system

It’s hard to be there for your elderly mom. That’s why you’re getting her the extra care she needs. Let Mom know how much she means to you by continuing to support her and her new care.