How to Care for Aging Parents From a Distance

by Alli

When my mom passed away two years ago, my siblings and I stepped up to help take care of my dad. Thankfully, dad is in excellent health, but he lives alone now. I live 300 miles away from dad and I try to visit as often as possible. I have a few tips on how to care for aging parents, even from a distance. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of VSP Individual Vision Plans.

My Dad - Caring for Aging Parents

6 Tips for Caring for Aging Parents from a Distance

1. Stay in Touch Daily

Even though dad is healthy and stays active, I don’t like the idea of him living alone. We created a system so that we could keep in touch and keep tabs on him. My sister and brother call first thing in the morning. My sister calls again in the afternoon and my other brother and I call every night. Of course, we’re not the only ones who call. Dad has lots of friends and his siblings and grandkids who keep in touch as well.

How to Take Care of Aging Parents

Dad enjoys telling us about his day and we love visiting with him daily, even when it’s over the phone. We all come together to focus on love and not duty or guilt.

2.  Purchase a Mobile Medical Alert Service

One of the best purchases I’ve made is a mobile medical alert device that clips to dad’s belt. He recharges it on his bedside table at night and wears it every day. Built-in technology confirms dad’s location quickly and accurately. It also comes with a free app for our smartphones that keeps us informed about the health and safety of our loved one. If he needs help with directions or a medical emergency, he pushes the button and is connected with a representative that can call 911 and will notify us. The best part is that the tracker also detects falls and will automatically call 911 and then call me.

3. Know Your Options

It pays to research all your options!

Know Your Options - Caring for Aging Parents

After mom passed away, we found out about a senior nutritional center in my hometown that provides a hot lunch Monday through Friday for seniors 65 and up. Dad didn’t want to go at first, but once we talked him into it, he rarely misses a day. The cost is low, and my dad enjoys socializing with the other seniors. They have the best time talking, playing Bingo and eating a hot meal. Best of all, a friend from high school heads up the program and my sister and I go with dad to the center whenever we are in town.

4. Diet and Exercise

Dad’s a hard worker, so I don’t have to worry about him getting enough exercise. He enjoys mowing the grass and always has a beautiful lawn. We talked to his doctor and he recommended that dad start drinking sports drinks when he’s mowing the lawn and working in his flower gardens for long periods of time.

Dad's Flowers - Caring for Aging Parents from a Distance

One of us, usually my older brother, always accompanies my dad to his doctor’s visits. We like to stay up-to-date when it comes to his health. Dad has a clean bill of health and that makes me so happy!

Clean Bill of Health - Aging Parents

5. Insurance

Dad’s been retired for several years now.  We make sure he will continue to have a golden retirement by keeping him up to date on everything he needs to know when it comes to insurance. Dad has a great health insurance plan. However, a lot of seniors don’t know what, if any, vision coverage they will have once they are retired.

Often, many seniors don’t understand that when it comes to vision, Medicare doesn’t cover it. That’s why I love VSP Individual Vision Plans. You can purchase directly from VSP, for as low as $13 per month. Plans include a yearly eye exam, access to the largest independent doctor network, and a generous allowance for glasses or contacts.

You can take control of your vision care with VSP Individual Vision Plans and get the coverage you want where and when you want it. VSP Individual Vision Plans offer low out-of-pocket cost options.  You don’t have to spend more to get personalized attention and access.

For more information, go to or call 877-988-4746.

6. Care for Yourself

You can’t take care of others if you don’t take time to care for yourself. I make sure to exercise every single day. I schedule it into my day like an appointment that can’t be missed.

Spending time laughing with the grandkids keeps me feeling young. It also helps keeps the stress levels down.

Spending Time with the Grandkids - How to Care for Aging Parents

The grandkids love books as much as I do, so another way I relax is by reading good books together.

Reading With the Grandkids - How to Care for Aging Parents

I also make sure to carve out time to do the things I enjoy like spending time at the beach. To always be there for my dad, it’s important to take care of myself.

Spending time at the beach - Care for Aging Parents

Talking to my dad every single day is a pleasure and of course, I think my dad is perfect. I enjoy listening to him talk about his younger years and how he met my mom. Spending time with him and watching him enjoy his retirement is truly a gift that I cherish daily.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of VSP Individual Vision Plans.


robin rue October 9, 2018 - 6:39 am

My mom passed away last year and I have been worried about my dad, but he seems to be doing ok. I check in on him all the time.

Candy October 9, 2018 - 7:57 am

We went through this with my mother. I lived couple thousand miles away. Daily contact is very important

Glenda Cates October 9, 2018 - 9:01 am

My dad lives out of State as well and even though my brother lives close to my dad they fight worse than two two year olds. So I will be using your tips to keep both my dad and our family safe.

Terri Steffes October 9, 2018 - 9:38 am

My mother lives 3 hours from me. She is 80 and in pretty good health. She has had some incidents, though, so I am aware of how helpless one can feel that far away. I have the names and phone numbers of all her friends. That is a great help.

Jeanette October 9, 2018 - 10:00 am

I like what you do to stay in touch with your elderly parent. This definitely something I need to keep in mind because my parents are getting up there in age and I worry about them a lot.

Ada October 9, 2018 - 10:08 am

Thats one thing what was always made me think/worry about future. I move a lot but I know for a fact that I dont wanna move back to my hometown ever again. I am worry that one day my parents will get older and they will need the help from me. I would not wanna leave them alone and I dont think they will be too keen to move abroad in that age. But we will see what life will bring to me. Your dad seems like a such a nice grandpa!

Teresa October 9, 2018 - 10:22 am

This can be a difficult position to be in with elderly family members. I visited with my aunt and uncle this past weekend, who live 600 miles from me. They are my only older relatives and I did notice my uncle was having a bit of trouble with keeping his train of thoughts.

Tasheena October 9, 2018 - 11:47 am

I really enjoyed your post. You Dad seems awesome. I agree that it’s so important to keep in touch on a regular basis.

Sarah Bailey October 9, 2018 - 1:12 pm

These sound like some great tips, it can be so hard when relatives start to age and when there is a distance so you can’t just be there anytime it is even worse.

Shoshana Sue October 9, 2018 - 2:27 pm

I love the system that you and your siblings have formulated to check up on your dad- I would do this if my parents were alive. Your dad is in awesome hands with you all, such a blessing!

Ashley October 9, 2018 - 7:32 pm

This is a good system you have in place. I can imagine how difficult it must be to care for someone from a distance.

Marysa October 9, 2018 - 10:38 pm

This can definitely be a challenge. I think you have great tips. Caring for aging parents is a big responsibility and it is nice to have some ways to help.

Anosa Malanga October 9, 2018 - 11:21 pm

Making sure you have an alloted time for your parents everyday is a must. Checking up how was their day or how do they feel is the best way to make them know you are taking care of them.

Bethel C Esmillarin October 10, 2018 - 5:08 am

Insurance for parents is a smart move. It could protect your parents financially and you as well. Especially health insurance. Health is wealth

Catalina October 10, 2018 - 5:31 am

These are really very useful tips. I love the idea of staying in touch daily. We use one more tip. We installed on our parent’s phones different app so we can chat often during the day. Seems that they enjoy a lot this idea!

Amee October 10, 2018 - 6:51 am

I also live far from my parents that’s why daily communication with them is very important for me. Definitely insurance for them is very important.

KIM CROISANT October 10, 2018 - 10:37 am

My mom is 2 hours away, but my hope is that she will move closer to me if she wants to. Right now she doesn’t. I love your tips here. I may need them.

Bohemian Babushka October 10, 2018 - 1:17 pm

So heartwarming to see how you and your siblings are being attentive to your dad. A true blessing how you all tend to him and his needs. Speaking of needs, Babushka has no vision insurance so will definitely be checking out VSP. Gracias for the info.

Ruth I. October 10, 2018 - 4:06 pm

I think you all keeping in touch and calling him daily is amazing. These are great tips.

Kyra Rodriguez October 25, 2018 - 4:16 am

I always call my parents and keep in touch with them.. I also live far from my parents, but my dad is not doing well lately, I’m planning to visit him maybe next week..


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