Long Distance Caregiving That Works
Living at a distance from a relative who needs care stirs up many feelings and presents special challenges. Yet it can work well with the support of others. With today's busy work lives, family lives, and mobility it is increasingly common to be caring for an aging relative from your home to theirs.
- Planning ahead is crucial. It provides the benefit of not having to act under the pressures of a crisis or face the frustrations of not locating resources. Many services have long waiting lists. Another benefit is involving your relative in decisions about their care.
- Create a network of family and friends. Each of you have something to offer. Perhaps one will research resources, another offer emotional support, another visit, while another manages or assists with finances. Schedule a family meeting to discuss realistic expectations of each other and plan your roles.
- Take care of yourself. Many people do more than they need to, becoming frustrated and exhausted. Try not to overextend yourself. Decide what you can realistically commit to given your own busy schedule and explain this to your relative.
- Research resources. If another relative is nearby, work together. If not, explore a senior center, area agency on aging, church, or case management agency in your relative's community to create a local contact to help arrange services and keep in touch with both you and your relative.
- Keep in contact. Select the easiest way for your relative to communicate. This may be by phone, mail, tapes, videos, etc. Try to focus on their interests and monitor services from their point of view. This will help relieve your worries while expressing your concern for them.
Using these suggestions will help you help despite the distance. For information and support, contact Boulder Senior Services at (303) 441-3148 to talk with a Resource Specialist.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 14:01