Long-Distance Caregiving Tips for Families
You want to be there to support your aging parent’s needs, but when you don’t live close by, that can be difficult. Many people find themselves having to coordinate care from a distance and make sure their loved one’s needs are being met. According to a study by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, approximately 11% of family caregivers for individuals age 50+ live an hour or more away.
Make It a Team Effort
Collaborating with other family members or close friends and delegating responsibilities can make long-distance caregiving easier. Assign each person certain responsibilities and meet regularly for updates. For instance, one person may oversee all medical communications, another might handle financials, and someone else might take care of home maintenance if they live nearby. Work together to help prevent anyone from getting burned out or feeling overwhelmed.
Connect with neighbors, relatives, or friends who live in the same area as your aging parent. Ask if they can stop by to check in, help with various tasks like yardwork or taking out the trash, and simply provide some companionship. Have them alert you if they have any concerns about your loved one’s safety or well-being so you can follow up.
Don’t be afraid to get professionals involved as well. You may want to work closely with an attorney, financial advisor, social worker, or senior care provider to ensure that the right documents, processes, and plans are in place to provide quality care for your loved one. This may include a power of attorney, medical directives, a living will, financial management, or emergency response plans.
Post a list of important phone numbers on the refrigerator or next to the phone where your aging parent can easily find them. Program contacts into their phone, and make sure they know how to send, accept, and end calls and text messages. You can even teach them how to use video calling applications as well so you can see and hear each other.
It can be helpful to set up a schedule for when you will call so they know those check-ins will happen regularly. This can give them something to look forward to and provide them with the opportunity to share updates, stories, and important information more frequently.
If you are concerned about their fall risk or health, consider getting them an alert device that they can wear and simply press a button to call for help. Even when you’re not there, you know that someone will respond and contact the right people.
Arrange In-Person Visits
In addition to regular calls, try to schedule visits whenever you can as well. This gives you the opportunity to see your loved one for yourself and note any changes in their appearance, cognitive function, physical abilities, and more. From there you can coordinate any necessary changes in the care they receive.
Take time to simply enjoy being with them as well, not solely focusing on caregiving. Go out to lunch or dinner, watch a movie, bake cookies, play cards or a board game, or look through photo albums. Let your aging parents pick some activities that they want to do together.
Coordinate In-Home Care
Have greater peace of mind that your loved one is receiving the level of care and assistance they need by partnering with an in-home caregiver in St George UT. You can schedule them for a few hours a week, a few hours a day, or even round-the-clock care depending on your aging parent’s needs. A caregiver can assist with daily activities of living, meal planning and preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, escorting on errands or outings, and much more.
Contact Always Best Care to schedule a free consultation and find out how in-home care and other senior services can play a part in overcoming the challenges of long-distance caregiving.