How to realize “remote care”? Advantages and disadvantages

At the end of the year, I met my parents for the first time in a while and talked on the phone. There must be many people who are. Some of them, driven by a sense of mission that "I have to look after them," have started simulations of "U-turns" in which children return to their parents' homes, and "summoning" in which parents come to their children's homes. There may be

However, there is also a method called "long-distance nursing care" where you can take care of your parents at home while living separately.

What if my parents don't want me to live with them?

Sometimes, surprisingly, parents don't want their children to live with them. During nearly 30 years of reporting on this site, I have met quite a few people who said, "I suggested, 'Come over here,' but my parents refused." When you leave the land you are used to living in, the dialect and food taste will be different, and you will have to leave your friends.

This is also reflected in the national survey results. I ask elderly people who live alone, "If you were to need nursing care or support, where would you like to live?" Many people wish to stay at home when it is mild, and in a facility when it becomes severe.

The case of two people who chose long-distance care

Introduces the case of two people who actually chose "long-distance care".

Keiko's (40s, Tokyo) mother (70s, Hiroshima) has been living alone since her father died of an illness. Three years ago, her mother took the opportunity of her fracture, and she was certified by the long-term care insurance, and she became "Nursing care level 1". Keiko asked her to come to Tokyo, but her mother was adamant, saying, "I have no intention of leaving this house where I have fond memories of my father."

And Keiko had no choice but to go home once a month on weekends. “I have helpers help me prepare meals, and I have them bathe in the large baths provided by the day service, so I don’t have to do much when I go home. Besides, I helped change clothes…”.

But when I saw his face, I was relieved and my mother smiled. "It's not like I don't feel guilt for neglecting my elderly parents. I don't have one, I have a job, and I'm happy with it now," says Keiko.

The transportation cost for one trip home is about 40,000 yen. It seems that he is making ends meet with the money left by his father after consulting with his mother. "Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to go home every month."

Kazuya's (50s, Chiba) father (80s, Nagasaki) lives alone at his parents' house. "His father had a lot going on, he didn't get along, and he only went home about once every two years." About three years ago, his father fell ill. Kazuya is an only child, so I rushed over when the hospital called me. "I didn't think about living together after leaving the hospital. It won't work out 100%, but I think it's my role to take care of her."

When it was decided that he would be discharged from the hospital, he went to the Regional Comprehensive Support Center (general counseling service for the elderly). When I consulted with my father about his life, he suggested that I apply for nursing care insurance and include nursing care services. "It's been very helpful to have a helper come to my father's house twice a week. If anything happens to my father, I will definitely get in touch with him."

The care manager (nursing care specialist) occasionally contacts him about his father's services and medical care. If it is not clear on the phone, he tries to go home as much as possible. "About twice a year. Even at work, if a business partner doesn't take action when a problem arises, you'll be in trouble. Instead of asking for help every day, I try to take action when it's necessary," says Kazuya. Speak calmly.

Everyone has their own way of long-distance care

Both Keiko and Kazuya chose to maintain the status quo rather than choose long-distance care. As a result, it became "long-distance care". In fact, there are many such cases. Since it is a nursing care method that is on a straight line to maintain the status quo, each person has their own way of doing it. Some people frequently return to their hometowns by bullet train or airplane, while others rarely return. As for the frequency of phone calls, while some people call every day, Kazuya said, "My father is hard of hearing and rarely calls."

What they have in common iscaring about their parents, connecting them to the government, and providing services so that their lives are not disrupted.

Advantages and disadvantages of long-distance nursing care

When long-distance nursing care begins, there are advantages and disadvantages, just like U-turns and summons. Let's be specific.

1. Parents and children can live in familiar places

2.I can maintain my work and daily life

3.Because we can only meet once in a while, we can be kind to each other (less likely to quarrel)


4.Since it is a household with only elderly people, the range of available services is wider than living together.

5. Easy to move into a special nursing home

As for 1 and 2, I think you can guess.

As for 3, I often hear from both parents and children that they can be kind to their parents (children), probably because they can't see each other often. On the other hand, like Kazuya, even with parents who were originally on bad terms, there is also the aspect of being able to get along with "minimum interaction".

4 is the ease of use of the service. In addition to long-term care insurance, each municipality provides various services. The menu varies depending on the municipality, but Keiko's mother uses the "emergency call system". When your mental and physical condition suddenly deteriorates, you can report it just by pressing a pendant-shaped button. We also use food delivery services provided by local governments. Both are available in the private sector, but it's cheaper if you go through the local government. Many local governments cannot use these public services if children live with them.

The home help service used by long-term care insurance is also affected by living together. There are “life support” and “physical care”, but the former, such as cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc., is not available in most municipalities if you live with your child. Kazuya's father also lives alone, so he seems to be able to ask helpers to cook and wash.

And, although it is not well known, 5 is also a big advantage.

Moving into special nursing homes for the elderly (special nursing homes), which is a representative of public facilities and popular for its low cost, is given priority to those who need it most, not in order of application. Long-distance care tends to be prioritized for moving in because there are no family members nearby who can provide care.

Then, what are the disadvantages of long-distance nursing care?

1.Because there is a distance on the map, I'm worried in case of emergency

2. To meet, you need time, physical strength, and money (transportation expenses)

3.There is a limit to how much you can spend at home

4. You may be seen as a "cold child" by those around you.

It can be said that 1 and 2 are the flip side of the merit. I can't see what's going on, so I tend to get worried. Besides, it takes time, physical strength, and money to meet. It's fine when the parents are calm, but if they are hospitalized frequently, they will have to increase the frequency of returning to their hometowns. For example, at that time, when it comes to the busy season of work or the exam period of my child, it becomes quite difficult to manage time.

3 is the limit of staying at home. If you don't have a family to care for, you can't go to the bathroom by yourself, or if it's dangerous to take care of a fire, you may have to choose a facility even if you don't want to. long-distance nursing care continues).

Furthermore, in Japan, there is an image that it is easier to live together. There are quite a few people who have experienced being yelled at by relatives, etc., saying, "How long are you going to leave your parents unattended?" and).

In addition, the child himself may feel guilty that he is a cold child. However, as a result, there are cases where it leads to the merit of "become friendly when you meet", and this may be said to be two sides of the same coin.

The secret to success is “ability to collect information” and “ability to communicate”

In long-distance nursing care, the things that parents cannot do and the problems they face are supplemented by services. What is necessary for that is "Information Gathering Ability". You need to know where and what services are available.

Information about nursing care insurance services and services provided by local governments can be found at the Regional Comprehensive Support Center, which Kazuya visited. It is a general consultation counter for the elderly, and is installed in about one junior high school district. Each area you live in has its own center.

Also, word of mouth from locals and Internet search are also effective.

However, there is a real hurdle here...

Even if a child finds a service that looks good, parents often refuse to use it. Rejected as "not necessary". It seems to be parental pride that they don't want to be taken care of by others, or restraint.

In such a case, what you need is "communication skills". Improve your approach to parenting. Think, "How can I tell my parents to listen?" The most successful method is to have the family doctor recommend it directly to the parents. It seems that the parent generation tends to obey the words of "sensei".

However, if a child who lives far away and doesn't even know your face suddenly calls you and asks you to recommend it, the doctor won't accept it. It is important to let them know that you are a child who cares about their parents even though they live far away. In long-distance care, doctors often take care of you, so if you can accompany them to visits from time to time and have them remember your face, the chances of them becoming your ally will increase later.

Also, you can make good use of long-term care insurance to make up for it. For example, if you use a home renovation service, you can remove steps and install handrails. If you are a parent who pays 10%, you can do the construction of 200,000 yen for 20,000 yen. If parents think that "long-term care insurance is a good service", the possibility of accepting other services will increase. For housing renovation services, please consult with the Regional Comprehensive Support Center or Care Manager.

Other than that, if you have a good relationship with your neighbour, for example, that you can share your cell phone number with them, they will be able to let you know if something happens to them.

Nursing care methods are complicated by various factors such as family structure, individual personality, economic situation, degree of need for nursing care, chronic illness, etc., so there is no correct answer. Some parents and children are suitable for long-distance care, while others are not suitable. If there are 100 pairs of parents and children, there are 100 ways. I would like to discuss it well with my family and choose the best method for us.

[This article is a joint project with Yahoo! News]