Is There a Way to Make Long-distance Caregiving Easier?
August 16, 2018
You might feel as if your hands are tied as a long-distance caregiver.
You’re not able to be right there with your elderly family member as often as you’d like to be, but that doesn’t mean that you’re a bad caregiver at all.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
It’s not uncommon for your aging adult to avoid telling you certain things simply because she doesn’t want to worry you. Make a deal with your elderly family member that she’ll tell you what’s going on and you’ll avoid the urge to overreact. By keeping those lines of communication as open as possible, you’ll build a different type of trust between yourself and your elderly family member that will serve you well when you’re not there with her.
Determine Who Can Help
If other family members live closer to your aging adult, they may be able to offer her some assistance. Friends and neighbors can also be helpful. Often there are also resources available from local agencies that help the elderly. By pooling some of these resources, you may be able to offer your senior some valuable assistance that you coordinate from your own location.
Make an Information File
There is a lot for you to keep track of as a family caregiver. You need to know information about her doctor’s offices, her pharmacies, and her health. You may also be handling other facets of her life, such as paying her bills and handling her finances. You might find it handy to put together a large 3-ring binder or an accordion file in which you store information right at your fingertips.
Consider Hiring Senior Care Providers
Even with all of these solutions in place, you may still feel as if there are gaps in your senior’s care plan. You may find that you want and need to know that you’re getting accurate information about your senior’s condition. Senior care providers can offer companionship and the hands-on assistance that you’re not able to provide from your current location. That information can help you to work out what other care she needs.
Remember to be patient with yourself if you’re a long-distance caregiver. This isn’t an easy situation for you or for your aging adult to be in. You may be able to find some other situation-specific ways to keep caregiving from far away beneficial for both you and your elderly family member. Creativity can be your best friend during these difficult times.