How to Help Aging Parents When You Live Far Away



While you may prefer to be close to an elderly parent, life may require that you live hundreds or thousands of miles away from that person. However, there are still ways in which you can help your aging parents get the care and support that they need on a daily basis.

Call or Send Messages Each Day

If your parents don’t have a lot of family or friends nearby, they could be at a high risk of feeling lonely or depressed. You can help to counteract those feelings by calling, texting or emailing your parents on a daily basis. It may also be worthwhile to send letters or cards to ensure that the people who raised you know that you still care about them. It can also be a good idea to teach them how to use social media sites to make it easier for older people to stay connected with their loved ones.

Your parents are people too. We sometimes forget that. They need help emotionally, physically, mentally, and even socially. Try to get them involved in local groups that share their interests. Buy them tickets to a symphony or season tickets to your local playhouse. Leaving the house with a family friend who can drive them may help relieve some of the burdens that come with cabin fever, boredom, and loneliness.

Pay for Food or Other Necessities

As people get older, it can be harder to find work or to find work that covers their basic living expenses. You can help to alleviate a parent’s financial anxiety by sending money to pay for food, utilities or other necessities. It could also be helpful to look into helping your parents file for bankruptcy or otherwise reduce their current debt level.

You can even set them up with an Amazon pantry so you can deliver them basics like toilet paper, soap, essentials and cleaning supplies. This is great if they can’t leave home or don’t want to. They can even have buttons so they can press them when they run low and get re-stocked.

Caregivers Can Provide Assistance That You Can’t Give Yourself

When needed, a caregiver can come to your parent’s home and take care of many different tasks such as cooking food, buying groceries or cleaning the house. If it isn’t feasible for mom or dad to stay at home, an assisted living care facility could meet an older person’s needs. Assisted living facilities to ensure that an older relative is taken care of without completely taking away his or her independence. You may be able to help find a facility or pay expenses related to obtaining such care.

Try to Visit Once or Twice a Year

If you can, try to visit your parents at least a couple of times a year to check in on them. Even if you are only able to stay for a few days, spending time in their home or at their residential facility can help you get a better idea of how they are doing.

You may feel bad that you aren’t able to live near your parents and provide them with the support that they may need. However, you should rest assured that there are plenty of ways to help make their lives easier no matter where you live.


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