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As part of the sandwich generation we often find ourselves having to help care and support our aging parents. In fact, research has shown that upwards of 60% of women over 40 are helping their parents with everything from financial management, to hands on care giving. This can be especially challenging when parents live a distance away. Here are some ways to help;  

1.Set up online bill paying for parents accounts; far too frequently elderly people have difficulty with personal financial management. Set up accounts so that you can ensure that bills are paid in a timely fashion. Automatic payments to utility companies and other creditors are often useful.  

2. Make their home as safe possible;  go through the home and check for potential safety hazards; exposed wires and electrical cords.  Be sure that all steps have adequate treading and railings. Consider safety bars in bathtubs.  Look into personal emergency response systems (PERS). These systems allow people to get emergency help by pushing a button on a necklace or bracelet worn.  

3. Install a web cam; While not as revealing as in person contact using a webcam will allow for observation. Regular live web calls are a great way to interact and observe the physical appearance of your loved one as well as their home. If your parents do not have internet access, a daily check-in phone call is also a good idea.

*4. Develop a support system;  friends and neighbors can be a great source of information. Speak frequently to your loved ones friends and neighbors about their observations. Be mindful that even close friends and family members may be reluctant to broach and discuss the subject for fear of offending you or your loved one. Open the lines of communication and let people know you are open and want to hear their observations and concerns.

5. Be sure that day to day needs are met;    Consider hiring an aid to help with day to day chores such as shopping, meal preparation, and housekeeping.  

For more tips on long distance care giving read Laurie's comments in Arthritis Today Magazine  


Please add your comments and suggestions to help other Fab 40 members.  

Laurie Giles
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Lauriebg, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rose Nino wrote Jun 23, 2010
    • Fabulous information Laurie. I worry about my parents since I moved out of state. Luckily, I have brothers and a sister close by. Thanks for sharing these fabulous tips. heart

      Hugz estaticheart

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jan Orga wrote Jun 24, 2010
    • Wonderful information! My parents are in their mid-70’s and live in VA...I’m in TN. I have traveled home frequently this year due to medical issues. I’ve been frustrated with their internet speed and have been considering upgrading it for them. I LOVE the idea of webcam calls - that way I can SEE a bit of how they are actually doing. I’m going to research upgrading their internet immediately! Thank you for the suggestions!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Jun 25, 2010
    • Also you can do some grocery shopping online along with delivery.
      Sams club allows you to place an order online and they pick it and usually it’s ready within 24 hrs. This is handy if you do the shopping for others. Saves a little time.

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