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How to Care for Aging Parents When You Can’t Be There

How to Care for Aging Parents When You Can’t Be There

When Corey Spiegel’s 75-year-old mother fell and broke her hip and wrist in November and needed emergency surgery, Ms. Spiegel scrambled to figure out

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When Corey Spiegel’s 75-year-old mother fell and broke her hip and wrist in November and needed emergency surgery, Ms. Spiegel scrambled to figure out how to transport her home from rehab. She interviewed caregivers over FaceTime and arranged for groceries and medical supplies to be delivered.

It would have been easier if she could have traveled from her Los Angeles home to be with her mom, Gail Wolfberg, in New Jersey but Covid-19 made that nearly impossible.

Caring for aging loved ones has always been difficult, and the pandemic has only complicated it—especially when family members live in different cities or states. More people than ever are in caregiving roles: Nearly one in five American adults are providing unpaid care to another adult, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP.

So how do you begin to provide help remotely? The first step, elder-care experts say, is to determine the level of care your loved one needs. The care continuum typically follows three stages: check-ins, full-time monitoring, and hands-on assistance. Here are some ways elder-care experts say tech can help with all three.

Stage 1: Lay the Groundwork

This post first appeared on wsj.com

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