By: Kathy Kappler

Did you know most people live within 30 miles of their mothers?

That works out nicely for people whose mothers need care and they can be with them every step of the way, but what about those in the minority?

If your mother lives more than 30 miles away (or lives in another state!) and suddenly needs full-time medical care, what do you do? Where do you go?

Fortunately, we’ve been through this enough times to know exactly what to do for adult children caring for aging parents out-of-state.

Caring for Aging Parents Out-of-State

Recently, I had two clients (a brother and sister duo) whose mother lived in Colorado. According to her doctor, the mother was showing signs of dementia and needed to start receiving memory care.

The two of them approached me together asking what to do? After hours of online research, the two of them were feeling overwhelmed with the process and possibilities; the costs and comparisons; the homes and housing needs. So — understandably — they wanted help (and the fact that it was free didn’t hurt).

I met with the both of them and they told me everything! With an understanding of their situation and assessment of their mother, we talked about the type of housing options that provide memory care. They were immediately drawn to adult family homes, which helped narrow the search. I provided financial support information and ran through the steps for how to apply for Medicaid and VA benefits since their mother was eligible for both. The two of them were determined to move their mother to Washington so they could visit more regularly and not worry about her living conditions at a distance. So we made a plan.

We plotted out a timeline for when everything needed to be done by and we would check in daily to make sure we stuck to the schedule. The brother headed over to Colorado to pick up his mother — she would stay with him — until we (the sister and I) found a memory care facility to their liking.

The daughter and I did several tours of adult family homes offering memory care and when the search narrowed further, we had a conference call with her brother to ease all his fears and answer all of his questions.

The sister decided on an adult family home and within the week, the mother was moved successfully.

About a week after the mother was moved in, I met up with her and her two children to make sure the adult family home was meeting their needs and I was pleased to see everything was going smoothly.

Although the family is extremely happy now, you should have seen them when I first met them — practically pulling their hair out. Plus, if you can believe it, they brought folders of paperwork and records to our meeting assuming that I was only providing a free consultation, so they wanted to maximize their time.

The fact is, our services are entirely free. So if you too are caring for aging parents at a distance, then contact us and we will walk you through the process.