Long Distance Care for Family Caregivers

Providing long distance care for an elderly loved one can be challenging, but there are strategies and support systems to make the process a little smoother and more manageable. 

Family Caregivers

Being a caregiver for someone we love and care about can be a difficult and demanding role to fill under any circumstances, but when there is distance involved, there are some unique issues that often come into play.

Caring From a Distance

Caring for someone that is more than an hour away constitutes a long distance care arrangement. It can be hard to know how to make that work without the ability to pop-in, be there at a moment’s notice, or always be readily available.

The travel time, expenses associated with travelling back and forth, and just the feelings of worry that can come with not being present all the time to check on things can be stressful for family caregivers. However, there are steps that can be taken to help seniors and their caregivers find an arrangement that makes everyone feel more comfortable and confident.

Arranging Care From a Distance

Streamlining the home care process to get better organized and prepared for daily care and emergencies is a good way to get started.  When establishing an arrangement to get everyone feeling positive and reassured about the quality and system of care, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Get educated
  • Get organized
  • Establish local support systems
  • Professional assistance
  • Stay connected
  • Make the most of visits

Learn It All

A well-informed and thorough understanding of all the health issues that a senior loved one is facing can help caregivers make confident decisions about the care situation. Home care is always a dynamic endeavor as circumstances are continually changing. Taking the time to learn all the pertinent information can help caregivers to feel proficient and able to best provide care to those they love, despite the added challenge of distance.

Keep Organized

When it comes to caring for seniors, there is a lot to keep track of, so setting up a system for managing information, appointments, medication, and all the other little things that are a part of caring for someone can help to keep things running smoothly. Being organized means that important information is always on hand and easy to find, and resources are available whenever the need for consultation is required. 

Set Up a Local Support System

Knowing the people that are around your loved one on a regular basis when you are farther away can help provide some peace of mind. Getting to know their friends, neighbors, doctors, and other people who are a part of their lives can help remind you someone is always available to be there for them even when you can’t be there in person.

Consult Professionals

Relying on the assistance of professional caregivers can help ensure that your senior loved one is getting the best care possible at all times. Home caregivers can assist with everyday tasks, health management, general care, or just provide some company and companionship. Working together with skilled, trained, experienced caregivers can help set seniors up to receive the best care possible as often as it is needed.

Stay Connected

Keeping in close contact is essential for many reasons, from the strengthening of relationships, to the provision of care. Staying in touch is the only way to really stay informed with what is going on in a senior’s life and how they are feeling day-to-day. Thankfully, technology is abundant these days to make keeping connected easier than ever. Seniors and caregivers can not only chat on the phone, but can also e-mail, text, and video chat. Setting seniors up with the technology they need to stay connected and never feel alone can make a huge difference in how they feel about their care.

Soak Up the Time Together

When you can’t always spend time together, the moments that you do share become all the more valuable. Being together can be a great opportunity to be productive and sort through anything that needs discussing or planning, but it is also just a great chance to connect and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Geographical distance can be a tough obstacle to overcome, but there are ways to make providing care from a distance feel more effective and suitable for everyone involved.

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