After the Holidays: Tips for Managing Care from a Distance (Part 2)


After the Holidays: Tips for Managing Care from a Distance (Part 2)

(Editor's Note: This is the second part in a series on how to manage a caregiving situation from distance. We began our series after the holidays. Read Managing Care from a Distance, Part 1.)

I believe every worry needs a plan. With that in mind, our Pressing Problem Wheel can you help you focus on one problem at a time while putting a plan in place to manage each.

Let's create an example of how this could work.

Scenario: Sophie is worried about her parents, who live together in their own home. During her holiday visit, Sophie noticed that both the house and her parents looked in disarray. After reviewing the Pressing Problem Wheel, Sophie tackled her first two pressing problems: Her parents' isolation and her need for a back-up. Sophie now decides to tackle her next worries: Her parents' medical conditions, safety and driving.

Pressing Problem No. 3: Medical conditions.
Sophie speaks with her parents about making an upcoming doctor's appointment and lets them know she'd love to join them virtually. She then contacts the doctors' office for an appointment, sharing her concerns about her parents' living situation, appearance and whether they should be driving. She asks that the office staff share these concerns with the doctor prior to her parents' appointment. She also asks the staff about ensuring she can discuss her parents situation with the doctor and about any forms her parents may need to complete in order for these conversations to happen. (See HIPAA FAQs.) She also lets the staff know that she will connect via FaceTime during her parents' appointment. She contacts GoGoGrandparent to arrange a ride for her parents to their appointment and then for the return ride home. The morning of the doctor's appointment, Sophie connects with her parents via FaceTime and waits virtually with them as they await their ride. She then reconnects with her parents once they are settled in a waiting room at the doctors' office.

Pressing Problem No. 4: Safety.
During her parents' appointments, Sophie inquires about home health for her parents, specifically physical and occupational therapy. The doctor writes an order for her parents to be evaluated in their home. Sophie connects virtually with the therapists and nurse during her parents' evaluations. During the evaluation with the occupational therapist, Sophie asks for suggestions on how to keep her parents safe at home and receives a referral to a company who makes home modifications. Her parents qualify for PT, OT and a home health aide, which gives Sophie a little more time to figure out long-term goals to keep her parents safe.

Pressing Problem No. 5: Driving.
During the doctors' appointment, the doctor suggested to Sophie's parents that they hold off on driving until they have a home health evaluation. The doctor explains that they must be homebound to qualify for Medicare benefits and they don't want to jeopardize benefits by driving. This buys Sophie some time to better understand her parents' situation and whether they can be driving. She connects with her parents on FaceTime on Saturday mornings to make the lists of groceries and supplies to order online. The home health aide prepares simple meals for her parents and does light housekeeping. Her parents also continue to receive Meals on Wheels.

Sophie decides to tackle her next worries: Her own stress and worries in managing her parents' care and her strategy to manage any future crises. In Part 3, we’ll work through the solutions Sophie can create to these problems.

Additional Resources

  • If you'd like to talk out your pressing problems one-on-one, feel free to connect with our Certified Caregiving Consultants. Each offers a complementary consulting session so you determine if the consultant is right for you. Meet our Certified Caregiving Consultants.

  • My book, The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey, walks you through the caregiving experience. The book helps you build your coping strategies and manage the pressures of the experience. Buy The Caregiving Years PDF for $10. For more support, purchase our Caregiving Comfort and Courage PDF Pack which includes The Caregiving Years, Take Even More Comfort and Caregiving Lists of Your Courage, Hope and Resilience.

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