Long-Distance Caregiving Plans
When family lives far from their aging loved ones, a caregiving plan can be very challenging. First, you are not around to notice sudden changes in health or needs. You are not able to jump in and help. Also, you don’t necessarily have a network of people and resources at your fingertips. Furthermore, adult age children are also managing their own careers and possibly caring for children of their own in addition to caring for aging parents. Time and energy are scarce. Financial pressures offer another challenge. Long-distance care may require traveling back and forth. As a result you may have to miss work and pay additional out-of-pocket costs.
We often get calls from those who are trying to help a loved one from a distance. There are specific ways we help them to be successful. First, we confirm everyone with whom we should be communicating, including the primary decision maker. We also identify preferred contact method(s) (text, e-mail, phone calls, etc.) and how often they want to be contacted with updates. Since Cooperative Home Care is able to accept almost every type of home care funding, we are able to help most who call. This means that, whether near or far, if your aging loved one’s needs help we can meet their changing needs. This is key when you are coordinating services from a distance: you want to avoid working with more than one home care company if possible.
Long-distance caregiving is tough and it’s a hot topic within the industry. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has put together a booklet on “Long-Distance Caregiving: Twenty Questions and Answers”. To order your free publication, visit: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication
Information gathering is a large task at hand when you are caring for an aging loved one. This is something that needs be done whether you are in town or living away from a parent. It’s gathering and organizing all paperwork. From medications, to doctors, neighbors, house maintenance, etc., you will want to have all key information in one place so that you can easily refer to it and share it with your family members as needed. The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) has a great checklist to help one get started.
Coordinating services is another major task, as you need to spend the time researching what help is available and educating yourself on the options. The FCA’s Family Care Navigator offers a state-by-state searchable database to help you as well. There are countless options and services available – it’s just a matter of getting a firm handle on what you need and who can provide that to you in a cost-effective and quality way.
You Are Not Alone
While long-distance caregiving can seem overwhelming, rest assured that you are not alone and that there are many resources available to help. When it comes to arranging home care services from a distance, our Intake Nurse is knowledgeable about how to make this work and can help get you started.