How to Care for Aging Parents from a Distance

When we live apart from our loved ones, we often find it challenging to help when we want to be there for them. I lived through this experience as a daughter who lived 8 hours away from her parents. I understand the challenges you and your loved ones face. At Moving Forward Matters we work with many families who do not live in the same city. The questions are always the same and they relate to how to support our loved ones to be safe in their home, or move because they can no longer live in their current home, and be of support without conflict.

In this video, Pierrette Raymond, founder of Moving Forward Matters and transition specialists, provides you with the three fundamental steps you can take immediately to support your loved ones through a transition when you live apart.




1. Get on the same page – siblings and parents.
The family meeting is a good meeting in this case, especially when you all have the goal to get on the same page. You may need to use Zoom or Skype to discuss what you are seeing and experiencing but do remember to do so without judgement or criticism. You are here to support each other with just the facts. Leave out the emotions.

Discuss facts:

  • What are you seeing?
  • What are the challenges?
  • What are some risks and dangers that you may be worried about?
  • Lay them out matter-of-factly without judgement or criticism. Support each other by respecting what you are experiencing.
  • Make a list of what your parents need now and what they will need now and in the future. What are the priorities?

2. Make a plan using the priorities you agree upon.
* What is most important?
* What do you need to do first?
* Who can help you? What resources do you need?

Make a list of some of your biggest priorities that you will share with your parents. Ensure that you are all in agreement and not judging each other or forcing your opinion on one another. Better to be kind, compassionate and respectful than conniving, forceful and stern.

Also, what list of resources can you provide to your parents? It’s not helpful if you go in with suggestions but don’t have any supportive documentation or resources to share. One local resource in Ottawa that you may find helpful is Focus on Seniors. They have an array of professionals who are qualified and vetted to work with families and seniors. If you live outside of Ottawa, check with your local city as they will be able to provide you with resources that can help.

3. Stay in communication with each other.
Continue to monitor your plan. How is it working? What do you need? What do they need? How have they responded to your suggestions for help and suggested resources?
Set up regular family meetings to discuss what is happening and bring in professionals to guide you along the way.

As you work together to support your loved ones, you will find that navigating this time of transition can be very powerful for your relationships. Count on each other. Share with each other. Respect each other. And be the support your loved ones need.

Remember – you do not have to do it alone. Contact us for help with your own transition plan. We can provide you with a full step-by-step plan after an initial consultation that will determine their greatest needs and future support.

Our team at Moving Forward Matters can also assist you and your family through the physical process of downsizing, decluttering and moving, as we help you and your loved ones eliminate what you no longer need, use or want and provide you with assistance to help you sell items, prepare your home for the market and help to pack and move you into your new home.

Our team at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? is also there to help. With one phone call, items will be brought to local charity, to the waste site and to local recyclers.

You do not have to do it alone! We are here to help!

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