Family Caregivers in Newton, MA – Put Technology to Work for You and Stay Connected with Your Senior Parents and Their Caregivers
Being a family caregiver for elderly parents can be difficult, but this is especially true if you live at a distance from your parents and are unable to actually be a physical part of their care routine as often as you would like. Distance caregiving can leave you feeling disconnected and out of control, which puts you in a place of worrying about the health, happiness, and safety of your elderly parents. Having non-medical in-home care providers in the home with your parents can ease much of this worry, giving you peace of mind knowing that they are not alone all the time and that their physical, medical, and emotional daily needs are in the hands of an experienced professional.
Even with these caregivers in the home, however, being at a physical distance from your parents can make you feel as though you are not giving them the level of care and support they need and deserve. You want to know they are safe and happy on a daily basis, that they have what they need, and that you are up-to-date on their health conditions so you can make important decisions as they arise. Staying in close connection with your parents’ caregiver eases this anxiety and helps you to be a present and active element of their care on a regular basis.
Not just for keeping up with friends and sharing silly memes, social media is one of the most powerful and effective tools family caregivers of elderly adults can use to stay connected with their parents and with the providers who care for them on a daily basis. By using social media you virtually close the distance between you and your parents and reassure them of your constant and meaningful presence in their lives and their care.
Try some of these tips for integrating social media into your interactions with your senior loved ones’ caregiver:
- Set up a care Facebook page. Facebook does not have to be a highly public recounting of every second of your life as many people use it. Instead, it can be set to private and accessed only by those given express permission. This provides a central place where you and the caregivers, as well as your elderly parents, can stay connected, communicate in real time, and share pictures, video, and information. Set up a page that is exclusively for use by your care team and make it private so everything shared on that page is only for those you invite. Visit this page frequently and encourage your parents and their care provider to add status updates, share links, add pictures to albums, and leave you messages. You can then reciprocate so you all keep in communication.
- Use a Google Hangout. Similar to Skype and other video chat programs, Google Hangouts let you video chat in real time with another person through a computer, tablet, or mobile device. This is a great way to hear your parents’ voice and have actual conversations rather than relying on typed messages. The video capability also provides you with a visual in case the caregiver wants to show you an issue with the home or something else you really need to see to understand.
- Create a care Twitter. Like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have privacy settings you can use to establish who is permitted to see your updates. Create an account specifically for your parents and care team and use these instant, short-form social media platforms to share up-to-the-minute communication throughout the day. The caregiver can send you pictures of your parents enjoying activities or wearing a new outfit, and ask questions you can see instantly on your mobile device or computer. You can then respond, taking only a few seconds to relay a message rather than having to wait until you can have a full phone conversation.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073