Some interesting answers to the question WHAT WOULD YOU DO? asked in an earlier blog.  It was about parents moving to a retirement area in a coastal town, a four-hour drive from their grandchildren and their daughter and her husband, who are worried how they will cope if one of them gets ill or they became frailer and need help.  They were worried that they wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on them.   Should the daughter persuade them not to move?

Some of the answers here: –

From Janet:  you have to accept  it’s what they want to do!  If it’s a retirement area there are probably plenty of activities for older people, and more facilities too.  You can find out about them. There’s an interactive map on the Faith in Later Life website with a lot of information about what’s on in the different regions.

From Derek:  if they haven’t already got it, you can set them up with Skype, or one of the other ‘face to face’ software communications programmes.

From Margaret:  Even though it seems a long drive, you can arrange to visit regularly.  Make it an outing for the children, something to look forward to!

From Gwyneth: if they join a local church you can make a note of the contact details. When you visit make a point of going to church and meeting people with them.  That way, if you can’t reach your parents and are worried about them, you’ll have someone to call.

From Tim:  There’s a new device that’s a doorbell with a camera that videos everyone who comes to the door, and sends a video to your mobile phone.  It’s called ‘Ring’.  It can be connected to the parents’ phones so they can see who’s at the door, even when they’re away from the house, and can also send the videos to you.  You will be able to see when they go out and come back and you’ll be able to see how they’re looking.

From anonymous:  don’t anticipate trouble.  If they get that frail there are probably agencies in that area that can help.  There will be organisations like ‘Friends of the Elderly,’ Age UK, and probably more.

Loneliness is a problem for many older people, but having families keeping in touch, makes a big difference.

Feel free to leave your suggestions! 

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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