5 Tips for the Long Distance Caregiver
Have you found yourself in a situation where you’ve become a family caregiver, but from a long distance? Perhaps you had to move away for job purposes or your loved one needed to be closer to a particular type of facility? Regardless of your experience, it may seem insurmountable at times. But the good news is that there are ways that you can still be an effective caregiver from afar.
Here are 5 tips intended to help you ensure that you’re doing the best you can with your caregiving responsibilities:
Get organized: First things first, make sure you’re organized. Create a centralized location to house your loved one’s doctors’ information, medication details, times to take medication, critical phone numbers and contact information, and to develop a care plan. Arming yourself with information and being proactive about knowing what you need to know can make the distance seem secondary. Tools like CareZare are designed to make your caregiving journey as easy and intuitive as possible, so that all relevant parties have access to the details they need.
Plan your visit before you visit: Leaving one situation and entering into another can be overwhelming as it is. You want to make sure that you’re making the most of your time with your loved one while you’re there as you can. Yes, there will be time to handle business, perhaps visit with doctors, and to engage in difficult conversations about legal or financial matters, but it’s imperative to schedule a time for enjoyable activities and catching up so that you can really connect with your loved one.
Technology is your friend: Take the time to teach your loved one how to use some sort of communicative device. Whether it’s a mobile phone, tablet or computer, help them to empower themselves with a tool that can function to relieve feelings of isolation and enable them to communicate with you. Though it is also wise to note that, in the beginning, you may receive incessant texts or calls until they get used to this new phenomenon. But that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?
Research local resources: By equipping yourself with knowledge about how your loved one can access various types of local resources in his or her area, you may also achieve some peace of mind. Websites like https://www.n4a.org/ can be extremely helpful when it comes to seeking out useful resources.
Care for yourself: Remember, you won’t do yourself or your loved one much good if you’re constantly stressed out, worrying, or grappling with not being physically closer to the person or the situation. It’s important that you nurture and allow for self care so that you can be the best version of yourself during your unique caregiving journey. Whether it’s resting, getting a massage, writing in a journal or just taking some alone time, recharging is the foundation that you need.
Are you a long distance caregiver? What has your experience been like? What have you done to overcome challenges? We know our community would appreciate any insight and advice that you can share from your perspective.
CareZare is a FREE app for family caregivers to help them manage their care team and ensure the highest level of care for their loved one.