Long-distance Caregiving

Long-distance Caregiving

Assuming the role of a caregiver can come unexpectedly. This role often brings challenges you never thought you ever had to confront, and knowing how to respond to these challenges can be unclear or confusing. Many family caregivers have never had experience with caregiving, so they are often left to navigate this difficult territory all alone. ElderCare does not want that to happen. Today, we are going to talk about a specific form of caregiving: long distance caregiving. Long-distance caregiving involves taking care of a loved one while living far away from them. Perhaps you live in another state or even in another county. Regardless of the conditions, if it is not easy for you to live or commute to your loved one to care for them, then you are probably a long-distance caregiver. This form of caregiving will involve a different set of skills and strategies that we hope to go over over today.

Where to begin?

The first step is to get in touch with your loved one health care provider, assuming they have one, to see what you can do to be most effective.[1] This should be the first step in a process of asking for advice not just from professionals, but also from friends or acquaintances who may be going through similar situations. Additionally, local resources, like your local Area Agency on Aging or caregiving counselors can be excellent resources.

Communicate

Make sure that you keep in constant contact with whomever you have contacted in connection to caring for your loved one from abroad. Additionally, if possible, contact your loved one as often as possible to check in with them. Staying in the loop will make decision-making a lot more efficient and effective. Rely on your cell phone, smartphone, personal computer, or any other device that can make communicating effective.

Talk finance

Depending on your and your loved one’s medical and financial situation, you may have to either contribute to your loved one’s healthcare or possibly help your loved one manage their finances. If possible, try to get written permission to handle your loved one’s medical and financial documents to make the process easier.[2] This can be a tricky situation to put into place, but with careful communication and teamwork, it can ultimately make things go a lot more smoothly.

Give yourself a break

Caregiving, even if it is done remotely, can cause a lot of stress and take a lot of time. It is very important for family caregivers to acknowledge their limits and to ease up when things get overwhelming. Caregiving can cause over-exhaustion, and if you are too exhausted to care for your loved one, then it makes the situation a lot worse. Instead, do what you can. Take breaks. Also, don’t forget to ask for help from other family members, friends, community resources, and nurse registries, like ElderCare at Home. We are here for you!

If you have any other questions, feel free to call our number at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.

[1] Source: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/getting-started-long-distance-caregiving

[2] Source: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/long-distance-caregiving-tips-success

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