Tips to Consider for Long Distance Caregivers
Caregivers do not necessarily live in the same town or even the same state. There are ways to help manage the stress of not being close. Here are some tips for long-distance caregivers.
Create a local caregiving support team. Managing care from afar can be tough so make sure to setup a caregiving support team of local people that your loved one has on a daily basis. Rely on the local office on aging, in-home care providers, church community members, neighbors, etc. Get to know these people because they are the eyes and ears on the ground and can communicate with you quickly if there is a problem. If your loved one lives in a care facility enlist the help of the experts to monitor them and give you regular updates on both the positive and negative.
Communicate often. Have daily or weekly phone calls scheduled in advance. Pick a day and time that works routinely for the both of you. It is important to know of any changes in their needs. Make sure part of your communication plan is also the team members on your support team. Make sure to communicate your expectations on what you need them to do for you so you can be at ease that your loved one is taken care of and adjust if needed.
Be creative on your care from a distance. If you live far way how can you contribute? Maybe you can manage their finances from a far, make a quick 5 minute phone call daily to check in, help schedule their doctor appointments, call and talk to the pharmacist about their medications, set up a grocery delivery service. If you can contribute to their care financially that might be an option. Look into their legal options and make sure they have their ducks in a row and if you are not sure consult with an attorney that specializes in working for elderly. The point is there are options, you just need to be creative and look for them.
Go tech! Take advantage of all the technology as a resource. There are amazing technology solutions that can help put your mind at ease. If your senior has a smart phone or computer teach them how to Facetime or Skype. Baby monitors are not just for infants anymore. Setup a video monitor in their living spaces that they are comfortable with to check in from time to time to see them. In an emergency situation a personal safety monitor can be extremely helpful. You know we have all seen those cheesy commercials about falling and not being able to get up. Well it’s true! That scenario could happen, so consider a service to help monitor that. There are medication monitors now to alert you when medications have not been taken or not and when they are taken. You might want to consider GPS tracking for their cellphones or in their car if they are still driving. Setup a group chat or download caregiving apps to coordinate their care and make communication a breeze with your support team.
At the end of the day try to do your best. Living a far is going to have its challenges but if you make an effort to setup a strong support team, communicate often, be creative with your care, and embrace technology you are taking the right steps to be there for your loved one.
At Elder Law of Omaha we focus on the increasingly important and complex area known as Elder Law. Our firm has a proud tradition of forming lasting relationships with our clients. We understand the issues that the elderly face and can advise you on specific issues that many people fail to consider and ensure that your loved ones final plan addresses all of your needs.
We want to be a part of your support team. Call now for a complimentary 30-minute consultation at 402.614.6400 and visit our website at http://elderlawomaha.com.