Due to the pandemic, traveling has become more difficult than ever. With many travel bans, closed borders, and mandatory quarantines, visiting distant loved ones just isn’t possible for many. It can be especially disheartening not to know when these restrictions will end and when travel will again become feasible, especially for those with sick friends or family members. Luckily, we live in an age where it is easier than ever to connect through various forms of technology! There are numerous ways you can still stay actively involved and informed about your loved one’s life, even from afar. From simplified video calls to medication management, read on below for seven strategies to help support your friend or family member remotely.
1. Make Virtual Calls Easy
Do you have a loved one who isn’t technologically savvy but wants to connect face-to-face?
NucleusCare makes virtual calls a breeze with a visual network of friends and family displayed with their name and picture for one-touch video calling. You can set up their network and everything they need remotely. All they will need is WiFi and an electric plug to power their device!
2. Get Access
Ask your loved one to sign all forms or make the calls necessary to give doctors, hospitals, and insurers permission to share information with you or another trusted family member. Don’t forget things like banks and utilities, as you may end up becoming the bill payer. This will also ensure that there is always a second point of contact available, in case your loved one forgets to pay something or needs help disputing a claim.
3. Identify Local Services
National Eldercare Locator Service may help you find local agencies near your loved one. From health and support services to transportation, community activities, and more, find out what is available in their area!
4. Create a Schedule
While you can’t physically visit with your loved one, you can still ensure that they are emotionally and mentally supported. Chat with their friends and family and come up with a schedule for check-ins, so that they are regularly in touch and connecting with someone. Of course, you can connect with your loved one anytime outside of the schedule, but it can be helpful to have specific days assigned, so you know they are constantly in communication.
5. Medication Management
If your loved one needs to take a variety of medications, try purchasing an automatic pill dispenser. It’s easy for them to forget taking regular prescriptions, and without being able to oversee things yourself, automatic pill dispensers can simplify this daily routine. Many also come with alerts that notify your loved one when to take their pills.
6. Establish a Local Team
Create a rolodex of all important contacts in your loved one’s life, such as: their community living representative, pharmacy, local home care companies, friends and neighbors, etc. Introduce yourself to all contacts to make sure they know who you are and how to reach you. Make sure someone you trust has a key to your loved one’s home, in case of emergency. If their home has an alarm system, make sure someone nearby has the access code.
7. Fill Your Own Cup
It can be stressful and overwhelming being a caregiver at any point, let alone during a global pandemic. Make sure to work on your own personal self-care, so that you can fully emotionally and mentally be there for your loved one. Identify a few things that help you to de-stress and make sure to make time for them each week!