If you live hundreds, or possibly even thousands of miles away from your loved ones, you may find yourself wondering how you can best go about caring for your elderly parents when they need a little bit of extra care and support. While long distance caregiving certainly isn’t without its challenges and difficulties, many families are able to discover that it can all be accomplished with great amounts of success.
The following article will share some caregiving tips that can be used for long distance and help set up your family for a positive experience and help you all be better equipped to take on care for your aging parents.
One of the best things any family can do, not just ones dealing with distance, is designate one person to be the primary caregiver, and then delegate. Caregiving doesn’t have to be a solo adventure when there are siblings or cousins or other family members that are willing to pitch in and help. But it will usually be of benefit to the entire family if one person is considered to be the primary caregiver. This will make things easier as doctors and other people involved in the care of your loved one will have one single point of contact with the family, who will be well prepared to answer questions and provide insight.
You will also find that many of the tasks you may find yourself taking on when you’re a long distance caregiver can require you to act on the behalf of your parents or other loved one from afar. You may also find that this can require you to need legal permission to do so. This will be especially common when it comes to medical and financial information, as well as any decisions when it comes to making care choices. If you need to secure power of attorney, make sure to acquaint yourself with the requirements and the steps, and look into any other authorizations you may need to get.
Being responsible for a loved one’s care and keeping track of their needs can require using a lot of brain power. This is especially true when there are multiple diagnoses, medications, and care providers involved. Consider developing a record keeping system, such as maintaining a notebook or online documentation of contacts, medication management lists, any notes from the doctor’s visits or phone calls, as it will help you to manage everything much more effectively.
All the people involved in the care of your loved one will vary quite a bit depending on their health and the level of support that is necessary for them to perform the activities of daily living. Making sure you know the people who are responsible for your parent’s care, such as their home health aides, their doctor and dentist, and more, will all help to ensure that you have a good handle on your parent’s needs and care they’re receiving.
An important part of long distance caregiving is providing emotional support and reassurance to your loved one. Even if you can’t be there in person, you can give your parent a weekly treat by arranging a weekly visit via phone chat or over video to check in.