Caregiving from afar can feel as if you’re trying to help someone with both hands tied behind your back. There’s a lot that you might feel as if you don’t know and you might not be sure just how to feel more informed. Some of these suggestions can help.
Determine Who All Can Help Your Senior
Even though you’re not right there with your elderly family member, that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have help. It’s entirely possible that there are multiple people in her life, like friends, neighbors, and other people she sees often, who know what your senior’s days are like. That makes these folks experts in what is normal for your senior’s days. Talking with them and building relationships with them can help you to learn what’s typical, too.
Think about Bringing Homecare Providers on Board
As great as it is having people in your senior’s life who can share information with you, you might also want to have someone available who can help your senior in a hands-on way. Homecare providers can do just that and they can alert you to signs of trouble that they see. This can give you an expert’s opinion on what your senior needs and what might help her the most.
Make Sure You Have a Plan for the Unexpected
Plans are your friend when you’re a long-distance caregiver. The better that you plan, the more secure you’ll likely feel. It helps to collect as much information as possible about your senior’s situation. From there, you can start your plans. Make sure you know how you’ll get to your senior and what it will take for you to be able to do so. You can’t plan for everything, but even having some general plans gives you a head start if something does happen.
Take it Easy on Yourself
Try to be gentle with yourself. Modern life means that people move far away from family members that they love. Being far away from your senior doesn’t mean that you don’t care about her or that you can’t make sure that she’s in good hands if something happens. You’re also not going to do everything perfectly, and that’s okay. It’s all going to be okay.
Being a long-distance caregiver isn’t easier than being a caregiver who sees their elderly family member every day. But it doesn’t have to be more difficult, either.