Improving Long-Distance Caregiving

Older mother and daughter

It’s never easy to see our parents or loved ones get older and need help. This can be made more difficult still if you live far away. Many people simply don’t have the option of just picking up and moving to where they are.

But it doesn’t mean you need to feel guilty, either. You have your own life to live. There are ways you can still participate in the caregiving, even from a long distance.

Stay in Touch

Be sure to stay in constant contact with your loved one. This could be a daily phone call, video chat, text message, or email. Be sure to check in on a regular basis, so they feel like you are there with them.

This way, they don’t feel like you have abandoned them, and you can also find out what is going on. They may have concerns that they are not comfortable talking about to their caregiver.

You can do video chats with the caregiver included and with other family members so they can see everyone all together. You can send small gifts and cards through the mail, as well, just because.

Find a Caregiver They Trust

You, or someone in the family will need to interview the potential caregivers. Let your loved one in on these interviews, as they are the one who has to deal with them.

Make sure you get someone who is trained and experienced for the care you will need. Once you have the qualifications, you need to get the stamp of approval for your loved one.

When you check in with them for a daily chat, be sure to ask how they are and how everything is going with the caregiver. It’s important that they are happy, but you also need to know if your loved one is telling you the truth.

Plan Your Visits

It’s important that you schedule regular visits. You just can’t know what is going on there unless you visit. This will also give your loved one something to look forward to.

Make plans to do things while you are there. Go out for lunch, take them shopping for things they need, or don’t need. Get together with other family members to have a good visit.

This is a great way to let everyone know what is going on and keep everyone in the loop.  It is a great way for you to take on the caregiver role, as well, for a better understanding of what they are going through.

Take Care of Paperwork

If your loved one is living with cognitive decline, it is smart to take care of any paperwork that may need to be involved. This can include deeds on a house, a will, power of attorney, insurance, etc.

Left undone, these types of things tend to cause massive fallouts within families that not only last for years but can remain unresolved. Make sure someone knows what is going on with bank accounts, any property, and other important documents.

Educate Yourself

If your loved one is living with a disease or condition, it’s important that you know everything you can about it. That way, you will understand what is needed to make sure they get the best care.

You can set up appointments with medical professionals, experts, and specialists to help your loved one get the best care they can. The more you know, the better you will understand what is happening, even if you are not there to administer the care yourself.

Keep Them Social

You can make sure that they are getting out and staying social. If mobility is a concern, bring the party over to their house. You can also visit a senior center to socialize with others.

Social happy hour, a game of cards or a board game, even once a week, will help keep them active and engaged. A movie date, a stroll through the park, or a trip to the hair salon can all be very beneficial.

Invest in a Medical Alert System

For everyone’s peace of mind, consider investing in a medical alert system. This will give them access to help or medical attention as soon as they need it, and you can be notified every time the system is used.