Some families live close together. Others move to new states seeking better employment opportunities, cheaper colleges, or a lower cost of living. When you live hours from your mom and dad, it’s hard to know if they’re doing well on their own.
How can you tell if your parents need help or if they’re okay? When you’re not there to check on them, what can you do to check on them?
Try to Video Call
Make a phone call at least once a week and hear how your parents sound. If they’re wheezing, out of breath, or seem excessively congested, it’s important to find out why. They may have chronic health conditions that cause these symptoms, but it needs to be addressed if it’s new.
If you can chat on a video call, you can look at your mom and dad. Check their color, see if they appear to be groomed and dressed appropriately. You also want to try to look at the house for excessive clutter and messes.
Talk to Their Neighbors
If you know your parents’ neighbors, ask them if they see your parents come and go. If your mom and dad are outside, do they seem okay? Look for signs like being outside without a jacket in the cold weather, spending too much time in the sun, or seeming ill.
Provide your contact information to a neighbor. If something seems wrong, you can have the neighbor call you. You’ll know when something is wrong before you get the call from a hospital or doctor.
Check Their Bank Accounts
When possible, ask your parents to designate someone as a financial power of attorney. If anything happens to them, they need a person to step in and make sure bills get paid until they can do it independently.
That person should keep an eye on their bank accounts. That’s one of the best ways to check that they haven’t fallen prey to a scammer. It also allows someone to make sure their expenditures are not higher than their income.
Companion care at home is certainly something to consider when your mom and dad live alone. If you’re not close, you can have caregivers stop by and keep your parents’ company. Your mom will have someone to take her shopping. Your dad has someone to cook his meals.
To arrange companion care at home, talk to a specialist at a local agency. Ask questions and get prices. Once you know what services are best, schedule caregiver visits.