When you don’t live close to your aging parent, it can leave you feeling like you’re not able to be involved in their care. That can make you feel out of the loop or cause hard feelings with siblings who feel like you’re not pulling your weight while they act as hands-on caregivers.
However, you can be just as important a part of your parent’s care as a long-distance caregiver and can take some of the work off the shoulders of family caregivers who work closer. If you’re uncertain what to do as a long-distance caregiver, below are some tips to help you get more involved in your parent’s care.
Serve as a Touchpoint and Communicator
It can be extremely helpful to have one person in charge of dispensing information about an older adult’s condition and care. Today’s technology let’s long-distance caregivers easily take on that role. They can be the one to send an email or make phone calls to all those concerned to provide updates on the senior’s condition or make requests for help with care. They can also be the contact person that others call when they have a question or would like an update.
Organize the Schedule
Setting up a monthly care calendar for an older adult takes a lot of time. It not only requires filling out the calendar, but also contacting caregivers to figure out when they are available. Then, when a gap in care occurs, someone has to figure out how to cover it. This is a perfect job for long-distance caregivers. While you may be unable to provide physical care, you can make sure it is provided for.
Offer Emotional Support
Long-distance caregivers can be the person who acts as a compassionate listener when another caregiver or the older adult needs to talk. Having a chronic condition or caring for someone who has one are difficult situations. Being able to talk to someone about it can relieve a great deal of stress.
Provide Respite Care
When you are able to visit your parent, offer to give other family caregivers a break while you take over the hands-on care. The respite will be welcome and allow them to return refreshed when it is time for you to go home. Even if you aren’t able to visit much, you could help offer respite care by assisting with paying for a home care service to occasionally spend time with your parent so that others can get some rest and spend time doing other things.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Caregiver Services in Sharon MA, or anywhere in Eastern Massachusetts, please call the caring staff at CARE Resolutions – (508) 906-5572.