Do you have older loved ones in your family? Do your older loved ones live in a different town or state from you? Are you concerned about them? Do you have a plan to help your older loved ones if they needed it or if a crisis ocurred?  Because May is National Elder Law Month these questions are often asked during this month-long celebration. That is why throughout the nation elder lawyers go out into their communities during the month to focus on and educate our aging population and their families about the help, care and legal documents that seniors need. This month encourages not only seniors, but communities across the nation and adult family members to get involved. 

Do you know how to help the elders in your life, especially if you live in another town or state? We know you may have questions and more. We would like to share key ways that you could use to help the elders in your family.

1. Increase your communication. We encourage you to call your loved ones often. Set up a certain time of the day and call daily or every other day, whatever works best. If possible, visit whenever you can. But if you live elsewhere you should try to enlist the help of other family members and friends, especially if any of them live in the same town or close to your aging loved ones. Did you know that regular communication helps prevent isolation and can identify unmet needs and problems? Ask leading questions, like, “What are you doing today?” or “What did Dr. Smith have to say?”

2. Ask the caregiver of your loved ones to create an online notebook. An up-to-date online digital notebook of doctors, health providers, insurance agents, friends, neighbors and other important contacts will help your aging loved ones and family members who live out of town. Also, consider keeping an up-to-date online calendar.

3. Find daily assistance. Long distance relationships are difficult at any age. For Older Americans who have family living elsewhere, it is important to build up a good, reliable and caring network of assistance. Even though you live away from your senior loved ones you can look into coordinating with different organizations and individuals to schedule frequent assistance, such as meal deliveries, social visits, and check-ups from home health aides.

Do you have questions? We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.