Tips & Strategies for Long Distance Caregivers

October 6, 2018
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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There are nearly 34 million Americans providing care to older family members, with 15% of those living one or more hours from their loved one. While long distance caregiving may pose unique challenges for families, there are a number of ways to stay connected.

3 Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

The following tips are intended to give you peace of mind while caring for loved ones from afar, highlighting how to make the most out of each visit, what information to keep handy, and other recommendations.

1. Important Information Tips

Gather important information and keep it handy, such as:

  • Important phone numbers (local emergency contact, physician, neighbors, caregiver, pharmacy, 24-hour helplines, etc.)
  • Social Security and identification documents
  • Medical Information (medication list, allergies, insurance information)
  • Legal documents (financial, legal, mortgage, checking and savings account information, etc.)
  • Hurricane/tornado preparedness plan

2. Communication Tips

Keep in constant communication with:

  • Physicians 
  • Neighbors, relatives, and peers
  • Local caregivers
  • Community organizations (churches, peer groups, etc.)
  • Trusted professionals (lawyers, financial advisors)
  • Your loved one! Make frequent calls and/or send letters to update him or her about your life and ask about his/hers
  • If your loved one is tech-savvy, utilize webcams and programs such as Skype or Google+. These are fun and easy ways to keep in contact with loved ones from a long distance.

3. Visiting Tips

Make the most out of each visit by:

  • Schedule appointments with physicians, lawyers, and financial advisors.
  • Make yourself an authorized contact for medical, legal, or financial matters.
  • Keep up-to-date with records or paperwork that may need attention. 
  • Meet with neighbors, peers, and local caregivers to determine whether they have noticed any changes in behavior & health or have any other concerns.
  • Assess your loved one’s living situation. Are there home safety concerns? Does your loved one have enough food, supplies, and other necessities?
  • Review medications and ensure they are taking them as prescribed.
  • Most importantly, put business aside and spend some quality time with your loved one. While all else is necessary, enjoy the time that you have with each other. Go for a walk, play a game, listen to music, etc.

Contact Care Options for Kids for In-Home Personal Care Services

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home personal care services, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today at (888) 592-5855.