Few things are more difficult than caring for a loved one from long-distance. Not only can it be hard to identify when it’s time for an older family member to receive extra care, but providing that care (or finding someone who can) is fraught with challenges, especially when you’re living hundreds of miles away.  

Fortunately, there are ways to strategize your next steps to ensure your loved one gets the care they need. And if you take the time to prepare, you can make the entire process less stressful for everyone involved. Below, Liz Forster has provided some information and advice for anyone considering moving to be closer to a senior loved one.  

Look for the Signs   

It can be difficult to spot the signs that your older family member needs extra care. But if you know what to look for, it is much easier. For example, many seniors will undergo unexpected weight loss when they get to the stage of needing care, and poor grooming (or lack thereof) can also be a sign. If you notice these signs in your loved one, or if their overall appearance has changed for the worse, it might be time to start making plans.  

If your loved one has been finding it difficult to get a good night's rest or developing a pattern of waking up later each morning, it could indicate a decline in health. Becoming confused with simple everyday tasks can be a sign of cognitive decline. And becoming moody with people, whether they are familiar or not, might signal that your loved one is dealing with some type of pain or chronic health condition. 

Also, take a close look at your older family member’s home. Is it being well maintained or is it messier and dirtier than it used to be? The lack of home maintenance can also be a major indicator that a senior adult needs additional care in their daily life.  

Go Over Living Options 

So, you’ve established that your loved one needs extra care, but what does that mean for living arrangements? Fortunately, there are several options for older adults, and the best one for your situation will depend on the needs of your loved one (and your availability).  

For instance, perhaps your loved one can get along fine if you or another family member lives nearby. Maybe your loved one needs to move in with you or another family member. If moving is part of your solution, be sure to hire a senior moving service to make the process less stressful for everyone involved.  

Also, don’t forget to look into assisted living communities and nursing homes, which often provide unlimited access to healthcare, help with everyday activities, and a built-in social network. And don’t count out the possibility of getting your loved one nursing home care in their own home. 

Keep Their Home Maintained           

We previously mentioned that home maintenance can be a great way to measure whether or not your loved one needs care. You can help a lot in this regard by arranging any necessary repairs and maintenance, whether that means taking care of them yourself, getting the family involved, or hiring professionals.  

For instance, if the gutters on your loved one’s home need attention, you can easily find a professional by searching “gutter cleaning services near me” online. That way, you can ensure that the gutters will be cleared off all debris and thoroughly cleaned, and you will be able to tell if there are more serious problems that call for a repair or replacement.  

Caring for a senior when you live far away is simply too difficult to sustain for the long term. If you take on the responsibility of caregiving, you might eventually need to make decisions such as where you or your loved one are going to live. Consider the tips above as you start to put a plan in place, and remain open-minded to other ways that you can help your loved one get the most out of their golden years.  


Are you looking for a real estate expert in Southern Oregon? Contact Liz Forster today! 

Article written by:  Claire Wentz of caringfromafar.com