Category: Family information coordinator

Caring for Elderly Loved Ones Who Don’t Live Near You

If you live an hour or more away from your aging loved one who needs help, you can probably consider yourself a long-distance caregiver. Even though distance makes it more difficult for you to participate in your loved one’s care, there are resources and tips that can help to make it easier. Even if there is a family member or other caregiver nearby, or your loved one lives in a care facility, there are many things you can do to provide emotional support and even help with care needs via the phone, email or during infrequent visits. What can I do? Too often, family members who live out-of-town assume there is nothing they can do to help, leaving a close-by caregiver to feel overburdened and alone. Because this person might not know what they could delegate to you, taking the initiative yourself and volunteering to do things you know you could do can be a big relief. For example, I have a not-so-nearby sister-in-law who volunteered to make regular visits to Dad in his assisted living apartment, assess his needs for personal products, favorite snacks, medical supplies, comfortable pants and other things she could shop for and bring to him. Not having to worry about whether or not he had enough incontinence products, as well as these other things on hand was a huge help to me. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what you could do to help, even from a distance:  Ask How You Can Be Most Helpful Be sensitive to the feelings of any caregivers already on the job. Compliment them on what they are already doing, and then ask them and the care recipient how you can be most helpful. Talk to friends and neighbors who know your loved one to see if

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