More Americans are faced with caring for older relatives, and frequently this involves long-distance care.
It can be difficult to manage the care of a loved one from afar. But with proper planning, time-management and dedication, a long-distance caregiver can be as effective as one who lives nearby.
The National Institute on Aging offers these suggestions to make long-distance caregiving more manageable:
- Be informed. Know what you need to know about the health of your loved one. Read about the loved one’s condition and learn as much as you can.
- Plan your visits and allow for enough time to accomplish everything.
- Spend time actually visiting with your family member. Don’t make the trip only about the illness.
- Get in touch with all relevant doctors whenever you visit to make sure you are well-informed about the health of your loved one.
- Help the person stay in contact with you by providing a dedicated landline or cell phone.
- Take a course on caregiving.
- Gather a list of resources near the loved one, so you can best help that person.