Caring for a loved one or parent can be really difficult, but that difficulty can be exacerbated when the loved one or parent lives far away.
Recent studies show that 23% of American adults are caring for an older family member or loved one that lives at least one hour away from them.
Providing adequate care for someone can be stressful from a distance, but if moving closer to that loved one isn’t possible, there are a few steps that you can take to make long-distance caretaking a little bit easier:
Step 1: Establish open communication.
When you visit with your loved one, be sure to meet with the people that are involved in your family member’s daily life such as their physician, home care assistant, therapist, or others. It is important to get to know them and let them know you want to communicate with them often.
Step 2: Make observation a top priority.
Does it seem as if your loved one is avoiding answer certain questions? Have they stopped participating in activities that they used to enjoy? Do they forget important dates, or do they seem unaware of current events? These could be warning signs that your loved one needs help around the house, or more help if they already have assistance.
Step 3: Be prepared.
Make a list of all of your loved one’s medical issues, medical history, and medications. Include the names of their doctors and any legal documents that you may need in case you have to access them from a distance for an emergency.
Step 4: Spend quality time with them during your visits.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your caretaker responsibilities during a visit. Be sure that you set aside time with your family member to enjoy activities that aren’t directly related to their care. Go see a movie, visit other family members, enjoy a game of bingo, or simply go for a relaxing walk together.
Step 5: Befriend their friends and neighbors.
Spend time getting to know their neighbors and friends and try to identify one or two of them that seem trustworthy enough to check in on your family member and give you an occasional update. Their insight can prove to be invaluable.
Being a long-distance caregiver is never easy, but with the above tips it can be both enjoyable and rewarding for you and your loved one.
Please call Alex for all your Probate needs today. Be prepared. Ask for your free one hour consultation. 508-660-0331.