Showing Your Love for Your Parent When You Care from a Distance

Posted: 7/19/2018 1:28 PM by Interim HealthCare
As much as you would like to spend your caregiver experience close to your aging parent so you can be with them on a regular basis, this isn't always possible. You may already live far away from your parents when they need you to start being their family caregiver, or life circumstances can arise requiring you to move away from your parent. Whatever the reason is, if you are caring for your parent from a distance, you may worry they don't feel the level of love, compassion, and concern you would like them to feel from you. This can make aging more stressful, and be detrimental to their mental and emotional health. Taking the time to show your love for your parent when you are caring for them from a distance not only acknowledges them, and gives them a boost to their mental and emotional health, but can also bring greater meaning to your experience as a caregiver. Taking time away from always thinking about their specific care efforts reminds you of the value of your parent-child relationship, and helps you to feel more connected to your parent.

 Some ways you can show your love for your parents when you care for them from a distance include:
  • Don't always focus on care efforts. Not every conversation you have with your aging parent, or visit you are able to have with them, should be focused completely on their care needs.  It is very important for you to take the time to remind them regularly of the love you have for them as their adult child, and that you are caring for them because you love them, and want them to have the best life possible. Enjoy phone calls, video chats, and the occasional visit that focuses primarily on spending quality time with your parent, and sharing your lives.
  • Keep up a correspondence. Talking to your parent on the phone is only one way to stay in touch with them. Get into the habit of keeping up a written correspondence with them. Receiving personal mail is not common anymore, but it is every meaningful. Writing letters and postcards lets your parent know you were thinking about them, and enables them to re-read or revisit this correspondence whenever they need a boost. This is a great opportunity for your children to get involved as well. Encourage them to draw pictures, write notes, and send photographs of themselves to their grandparent.
  • Send care packages. Every now and then, put together a little package of gifts and items you know your senior will enjoy. These are a great way to show them you're thinking about them, and also help them to feel more comfortable, or to revisit memories. Items such as lip balm, lotion, tissues, and other things may not be items your parent immediately purchases for themselves, but can help him to feel comfortable at home. Little treats such as retro candy they might have enjoyed when they were younger, a book of puzzles, or even a gift card to a local takeout restaurant offers little bright spots in their day that can help them to feel your love even when not having a conversation with you. 
It is easy to feel like showing your love for your parent as a family caregiver means taking on all of the responsibilities and challenges of caring for them. This, however, can lead to tremendous stress that puts your own health and well-being at risk, and can have a detrimental effect on the quality of care you give your senior on a regular basis. Instead, showing love for your parent means taking the necessary steps to ensure they are getting all of the care, support, and assistance they need. When you are living at a distance from your parent this can be even more challenging, and it becomes necessary to rely on help, such as senior care, to get it done. Rather than showing your love for your parent by doing everything yourself, you show your love and respect by entrusting a senior care provider to handle their daily needs and support their quality of life. Arranging for a senior home care services provider to be a part of your parent's daily routine means showing them you want their needs met, them to stay safe and healthy, and for them to enjoy their best quality of life when you are not able to be with them.

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