How Can I Stay Involved?

My parents live in a very large home on a large lot. It is very high maintenance and my father is ill. I live 400 miles away and am unable to help. My siblings are closer and do help but reluctantly. I keep finding out things that I should have known about, not for lack of trying to communicate with both sibling and parents. Do you have any suggestions for ways to stay involved and any ideas for how to help my parents?

Kelly in Texas, 49

The first step of my book ELDER CARE MADE EASIER is all about communication. If you don't ask the right questions, you can’t get the right answers. If your parents are capable of communicating for themselves, ask your questions to them directly. Let them know that you are concerned, and how you’re affected when you find out things after the fact. Always speak to your parents on an adult-to-adult level, and let them know you care about them and their well being. Some people like the phone, others the Internet, and others like notes and cards and letters. Find out your parents’ favorite mode of communication and use it to your benefit.

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