Care Giving from a Distance
Published on September 22, 2011 by Shannon Bennett
Although caring for an aging relative is a challenge in the best of times, it’s even more difficult when it’s done long distance. There are a host of issues to consider for someone in this position. They must balance the needs of their elders or aging parents with the needs of their immediate family, job & financial security. There are situations where they must decide when to travel to visit their long distance elders or aging parents, which adds more burdens financially. These challenges can be very overwhelming leading to situations of caregiver stress and feelings of guilt. Here are few strategies that may make this situation a bit easier.
• Plan before a crisis. When it comes to long-distance caregiving, you need to plan for the unexpected. At your next visit, set up a support system of friends, relatives, and neighbors. Get to know your parents’ friends and neighbors so you can call them when you need someone to look in on your parents. Also get to know their doctors, and especially the nurse who manages the doctor’s office.
• Get a copy of any essential medical, financial, and legal information. These include Social Security numbers, health insurance policies, medical histories, wills, power-of attorney paperwork, and healthcare proxies, all of which might be needed in an emergency.
• Involve your parent. One of the most important things you can do is to honor your parents’ independence and remember that they are adults. You need to allow them the freedom to remain themselves and make their own decisions as they age.
• Get professional help. Hire a home care agency to help manage appointments, medications, housekeeping, meal preparation and many other services. Care managers become the daily “eyes and ears” of your loved ones situation. Taking advantage of this type of service is a very cost effective way to ensure your family member is safe and being cared for. When you’re not able to manage the daily care of your family it’s a relief to know that there are many options to assist you.
Please call At Home Care Group and we’ll find the best resource that’s fits you and your family.
—Shannon Bennett, Marketing Director, Bend