Leaving your family behind can be one of the hardest parts of living overseas, especially if you have aging parents who wish they could see you and their grandkids more. What might be even more intimidating is when your parent’s health is beginning to decline and you understand they need your help more and more. So how do you live abroad, deal with ageing parents when you live overseas and avoid the shame of leaving our aged parents behind? There are several important considerations:
It’s vital to build up a strategy to connect with them regularly. If they are not good with technology, make sure you set it up with them. Take the time to demonstrate how it works. Also, try inviting a family member or a friend to sit with them and help them make a weekly call with you. It’s ideal to have someone tech-savvy around in case your parents run into problems. My father endured three months without a computer until I arrived to help. Until then, he missed seeing me. I located a technician that could support him on a regular basis when he becomes confused or frustrated. When I can see him and what’s actually going on in his environment, it helps me feel more at peace, because they don’t always tell you when something is wrong. They can also experience feelings of isolation and loneliness, therefore the more you can speak with them, the better. Bring them along on camera to lunch, dinner, or a Skype session with grandkids. You can share priceless moments and meaningful time with them over the internet, making them feel included in your life. You can even get them a parent visa Australia to bring them closer to yourself.
Know their doctor, and make sure the doctor knows who you are
So, you can schedule appointments for your parents if necessary. Know what medicines they’re taking and what practices they should follow if they have health issues. Keep the locations and phone numbers of nearby physicians and hospitals handy as well. So, if needed, you can arrange an Uber or cab to transport them to and from appointments. This is super important in case of an emergency so you are not running around frantically attempting to get this information. Being prepared reduces stress and gives you comfort that your aging parents will receive care when they require it.
Create a buddy system
Plan this system before with family and friends who are available if you need any assistance. These people should be there to take your parents to the doctor, make food, pay a visit or help around the house. They keep you updated about your parent’s welfare. People are usually willing to help you if you let them know where you need help. Making agreements ahead of time reduces feelings of burden when problems emerge. Plan your visit and set aside money and time to see your parents on a regular basis. This will keep everyone’s expectations in check. It also allows you to plan events such that everyone feels safe and grounded.
If you don’t have the time or money to travel to them, invite them to stay with you
They can usually stay longer, and even if they have health difficulties, you can schedule treatment for them on the aircraft as well as organize a doctor to help where you are located. Just make sure you have their important medical information on hand and that they have health coverage while traveling.
Organise and scan important documents
We can manage a lot of things from a distance, but we need the correct documentation. Consider the following:
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Wills • Medical proxy
- Medical insurance
- Funeral instructions
- Medical records
- Letter of consent (power of attorney) to be their legal guardian in the event of an emergency
Take it easy on yourself:
It won’t help to feel horrible and beat yourself up for going away. It is better to concentrate on what you can do rather than what you cannot. Use that energy to create a backup plan for your parents. Most importantly, buy a bond. Even though you’re far away, this does not mean you can’t stay connected in a meaningful way.
Caring for an aging parent from abroad necessitates a well-thought-out plan and constant communication. The process will be simpler and the distance will feel shorter with these two simple things in place. I hope you found this article useful in how to deal with ageing parents when you live overseas.
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