How To Look After Your Ageing Parents When You Live Overseas

Moving abroad and starting a life independently is exciting. It brings excellent new adventures, cultures, cuisines, and life experiences. However, every person who has moved away from home understands the issues surrounding taking care of elderly parents in your home country. 

Many prefer getting their parents to live with them in the new country and become primary caregivers. Doing this saves a lot of tensions, anxiety, and sleepless nights. If you want to check about the immigration requirements for your parents and what documentation you may need, you should consult Aberdeen immigration solicitors to help. 

If shifting your parents is not possible, we can help you with tips on how to look after them while you live overseas. 

Plan In Advance:

As more people live abroad, it is necessary to plan in advance for your ageing parents. Senior citizens have particular needs according to age and health requirements. These mainly involve regular doctors’ visits, medications, and mobility issues. 

If your parents have special needs, you should sit down with them (on your next visit) and have an extremely frank and detailed conversation about the pros and cons of them living alone. If it is still impossible to shift them, you should make enquiries about what they would prefer instead. Most parents are willing to talk about their needs and what they require. You should also get full medical insurance with full coverage for them. 

If your parents do not reside together and live separately, you will need to care for both of them equally. That would mean getting two medical insurance policies and speaking to both of them individually. Planning for additional help, insurance, getting them a car, or any other comfort they need will help ease your anxiety and keep them happy in their old age. 

Utilize Available Technology:

Even though you are far from home, you can see your parents each day. You should utilize the latest that technology has to offer and help your parents set up multiple applications that help them stay in touch. 

Apps like Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, and others help loved ones see each other each day and stay in touch all throughout. You can schedule your daily or weekly calls with your parents. Before you leave, you should teach them how to operate the new technology – when they should press what. You would have to ensure they have a strong internet connection either via Wi-Fi or mobile data connectivity. 

Stick To The Old Ways:

Many times parents still cling to the old ways of life. As children, we have to understand that they may be uncomfortable using technology and instead prefer an old-fashioned communication style. If this sounds like your parents, you need to make an extra effort to stay in touch.

Weekly handwritten letters with physical photographs attached will help them keep up with you. You should also schedule weekly telephone calls to their landline. If you send them birthday and anniversary cards with notes and flowers, they may appreciate your gesture more. If you have children, you could send your parents some drawings from their school and allow your kids to speak to them over the phone. While these methods may be old-fashioned for our generation, we must remember that our parents grew up in a time before the internet and connectivity. 

Rely On The Local Network:

If your parents live in a community, there is a chance they will still be connected to their own networks of like-minded people. You should take down emergency phone numbers and let someone in their network know how to contact you. You should also appoint a family member or trusted friend to check in on your parents each month, run some errands, and help them with other stuff. 

Trusted friends, social workers, neighbours, family friends, and so on are usually the people you can rely on to help with your ageing parents. If you have any family members living in the same vicinity as your parents, you can ask one of them also to watch over them. Remember that this is a favour that people will be doing for you (unless you appoint paid help), so always be nice, and get them some token of appreciation when you visit. 

Apart from these tips, you should also have ‘the talk’ with your parents about moving them out of the family home, which may cause mobility issues later. Suppose they are adamant about living in the house. In that case, you will have to make alternative arrangements like getting them mobility scooters, adding rails to the stairs, and making their home more comfortable for them in their golden years. 

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