6 Long-distance Care-giving Tips for Your Parent with a Mental Disorder

It is very difficult to take care of your parents with mental conditions if you are staying away from them. Here are some tips that can ensure you are tension-free and they are happy even with the long distance.

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3 MIN READ

1Talk to them daily

If you are living away from your parents and suspect that they might have depression, take out time to talk with them daily. In most cases, parents suffer from the ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’ after their children leave home. This might result in feelings of abandonment and isolation and ultimately, depression. Calling them once or even twice a day daily will make them feel wanted. Talking on a video call with grandchildren is also a great way to make them feel loved.

2Install sensors

Parents with paranoia and anxiety disorders can become anxious and jittery at the smallest instance. To help them overcome these, install sensors that allow them to see if someone has truly entered their home. Visual assurance is the best way to keep them anxiety-free.

3Monitor their activities

Depression and paranoia can turn older adults suicidal. In some cases, there can be instances of increased heart rate and irregular breathing. You can install CCTV cameras all over their house to keep an eye on them whenever you want. There are also devices available in the market that can be used to monitor heart rate and other parameters. Installing these devices/making your parents use them can give you the chance to monitor their actions.

4Appoint a caregiver

Appointing a certified caregiver can give you lots of peace of mind. However, introducing a new person to an older adult with anxiety/paranoia is not easy. The new person needs to spend time with your parents to gain their trust. This requires a lot of patience on the caregiver’s part. The attitude of the caregiver that you appoint will also matter in the long run as aging parents with depression or anxiety need to be handled very carefully and with lots of love.

5Visit them whenever possible

Make it a point to visit your parents whenever possible so that they do not feel abandoned. If possible, visit them when they have a psychiatrist appointment scheduled so that you can talk to the doctor and get an idea of their condition.

6Create support groups

Support groups are very beneficial for older adults having mental illnesses. However, those with paranoia/anxiety find it difficult to trust anyone and those with depression lack the drive to go out and meet people. In such cases, you must take out some time and live with them to help create support groups. Support groups hear out their issues without judgment and offer help. If the older adult is unwilling or unable to go out of the house, you can set up online support groups as well. These online groups offer full support but help them keep their anonymity alongside

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