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February 02 2018

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Ensuring Safety at a Distance

Many families do not live in the same general area. Children grow up and move away, a job opportunity may require constant traveling, or retired parents may have moved to warmer climates. Phone calls, visits during vacations or holidays, and SKYPE will help keep people from losing touch. Issues arise when elderly parents require care within the home.

How to Help

It is rare that grown children can drop everything and take care of parents, even if it is on a temporary basis. They may not be able to take time off from work, they may have families of their own who need them, or they may not have the desire. Children can still help via home health care services. There are a variety of options for senior Care.

A certified caregiver can provide general elder care to allow people to be safe and remain at home. Duties may include fall prevention, doing light housekeeping, or making sure nutritious meals are available. This type of care does not include skilled nursing care. Professionals provide assistance when basic help is needed for independence.


An elderly parent living alone, for example, may need help with transportation to appointments, favorite activities, or the grocery store. A parent prone to depression will benefit from a companion to visit two or three days a week. Someone who needs help dressing or showering at night can arrange to have a helper arrive every morning and evening to provide assistance. Some grown children hire companions to simply check in with parents for a couple of hours each day.

Help for Family Caregivers

Family members who do live with elderly parents, or provide the majority of their care, may need a break a few hours on a Friday night or one weekend a month. Traveling on business or vacation may prove problematic if the parents do not want to go along. In these types of situations, respite care is available. Staff can be scheduled to stay overnight during that time, take over once a week, or be scheduled around the clock for a weekend or the duration of the vacation.


When non-medical services are desired, find an agency that only provides staff for those services. That will save money. Agencies that provide both medical and non-medical professionals have much more overhead due to regulations which raises costs. Registered nurses, for example, have to be supervised by a nurse with an advanced degree, typically known as a director of nursing (DON). Procedures for documentation and accountability are more time-consuming as well.

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