Long-Distance Caregiving is a Real Challenge. 6 Tips to Make Life More Manageable.
One of the biggest challenges of caregiving is when you, as primary caregiver, must do it from a distance. Even an hour away can be a challenge, so what do you when you're out of state and several hours away?
This is a conundrum for many caregivers. Even those with a sibling nearby, who for one reason or another, cannot be present, the responsibility the falls on you. It's hard not to just be able to pop by, evaluate the problem with the computer or TV and fix it when you're 8-10, or more, hours away. Especially when a parent has little experience, and desire, with technology like a smart phone to be able to host a video call.
To help, the National Institute on Aging put together this helpful infographic of tips for Long-distance caregivers.
The real key is to be present regularly and to make the most of the time you have when you're with your parent(s). Ensure that all of their paperwork, medical files and appointments are up to date and scheduled. If possible, have them schedule some appointments while you're visiting to meet the doctors, ask questions and advocate on their behalf.
In our experience most doctors are more than happy to allow for a parent to call, or even video call, during the appointment to ensure a medical advocate is present for their loved one. Especially if your parent is ill and having ongoing treatment, you can speak up when they might not.
If you don't ask, you'll never know what's possible. And, once they've met you doctors and staff have met you, they welcome your presence during appointments.