By Jennifer McDougall
Long-distance caregiving has its own set of difficulties. So be prepared to practice a lot of patience, and here is a list of seven things to bear in mind if you find yourself in the job of long-distance caregiving.
- Make a list of the top priority tasks that need to be done to help the person you are caring for and make their lives easier and more comfortable.
- Plan your visits without forgetting your own needs and responsibilities
- Engage in fun activities to do while visiting the one you’re caring for.
- Stay in touch regularly, and be sure they know they can contact you whenever they need someone to talk to or have questions. Speak slowly and walk them through what they need help with patience and kindness.
- Organize paperwork for legal, financial, and access to healthcare records for assisting them from afar (Health Surrogate, Power of Attorney, and HIPAA-related documents you need to be signed and documented.
- Gather a list of resources for the one you are caring for so that they have help locally they need while you are not close by.
- Keep the family in the loop on all updates on the individual you are caring for to help you and help them with anything that may come up. This will help eliminate any miscommunication, and everyone can be on the same page with the status of the one you are caring for.
One Comment Add yours
I like how you encourage long-distance caregivers to not forget their own needs during visits. It’s easy to fill a whole visit dealing with fixing physical environment issues that you weren’t aware of prior to the visit. We found that outsourcing as much as possible to outside companies on a regular maintenance schedule helped provide an extra level of just having someone else getting their eyes/hands on the situation so our mother-in-law could remain living independently out of state. Our full list of suggestions including technology we found helpful to ease stress on both ends is: https://daysforlearning.com/help-seniors-live-independent/
We found that having either a smart lock or a trusted local friend having a spare key was a life/death issue for one friend living independently. So I always try to encourage people to take this safety measure.