Taking Care of your Aged Parents as an Expat

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Even though moving abroad ignites excitement for you, that level of anticipation could be reduced when you’re leaving your parents behind. Increasing the distance between you and your aged parents will be likely to become your main source of distress.

This kind of situation can get worse if you’re an only child or the only one your parents depend on. Dividing your time between succeeding in your new career in a new country and checking up on your parents can get very hectic.

Depending on the nature of your job, it might be difficult to travel back home frequently to check up on the elderly ones. In this case, you might not realize the increased fragility an old parent faces. What’s worse, they’ll usually claim to ‘feel fine’ so you don’t get too worried.

One of the best factors about technology is the increased ease of communication. Below, you’ll find out ways to leverage tech in caring for your parents from abroad.

Four Steps to Checking up on the Elderly Ones

1Encourage Relatives and Friends to Visit your Parents

Getting older can mean becoming lonelier for parents. For single and aging parents, the seclusion becomes even more pronounced.

This is why you need to ask relatives and friends to check up on your parents once in a while. That visit can mean the world to them, making them look forward to those periods. You can also appoint a family member close to the home to make regular stopovers.

These social calls can be very beneficial because you’ll need visual confirmation of your parent’s appearance. Parents can be adamant about telling you they’re in good health when they aren’t. By connecting with that family member, you’d be able to get pictures and objective opinions about your parent’s health.

2Pay for a Professional Carer

You may need to hire a professional carer if your parents need special attention. Special attention, in this case, refers to medical conditions or disability.

Even though friends and family can visit parents once in a while, that specific attention cannot be achieved. Caregivers make it their job to connect with parents and perform daily activities for them.

3Utilize Technology to Connect with your Parents

There are several chat apps you can use to communicate with the aged ones. You can text your parents, make audio calls over the internet, or video call them.

Once you teach your parents how they can get these messaging apps and operate them, you should be keeping in constant contact with them. For expatriates that are in countries that are geo-restricted zones, Virtual Private Networks can be used. Geo-restriction refers to not being able to access websites or apps that you would normally use back home.

What is a VPN doing in this instance? It is rerouting your internet traffic via a server location of your choice, preferably one in your home country. You’d be able to use the same chat services your parents are using so you can stay in touch.

A VPN’s advantage also extends to traveling home. You can get cheaper flights by beating dynamic pricing when you change your location.

4Organize Visits

That feeling of excitement when you’re looking forward to meeting your child is unparalleled. You need to meet up with your parents either by traveling back home or having them meet you abroad. 

In the latter instance, apart from seeing you, they get to experience the feeling of visiting a new country. If you’re going home, it still counts as you’d be surrounded by family and friends.

Conclusion

Having to travel abroad should not be a bother when you have aged parents. With four simple steps, you can maintain a healthy work-family balance. First, get close people to visit your parents, use messaging apps to connect with them, organize visits, and get a professional caregiver.

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