7 Tips for Long-Distance Caregiving


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Being a caregiver is challenging as it is, but what about when you are trying to look after a loved one who lives far away? BrightStar of Naperville recently shared some great tips that they've found to be helpful with the families that they have worked with in these situations.

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7 Tips for Long-Distance Caregiving

  1. 1. 7 Tips for Long-Distance Caregiving
  2. 2. Being a caregiver is challenging as it is, but what about when you aretrying to look after a loved one who lives far away?Our BrightStar Naperville homecare provider recently shared somegreat tips that theyve found to be helpful with the families that theyhave worked with in these situations:
  3. 3. 1 Create a contact list.• Assemble address and phone numbers of friends, neighbors, doctors, faith leaders and others in regular contact with your parents who can be reached in the event of an emergency.• Include at least one person close by who can easily check in on your loved one.• Give one copy of this list to your loved one and keep a copy for yourself.• These folks may also be able to help out with shopping, transportation or visits.
  4. 4. 2 Collect important information before a crisis.• Keep the following information organized and easy to reach in the event of a crisis:• Medical records: notes on their condition(s), a list of medications they take, names and phone numbers of all doctors, name and phone number of their pharmacy• Financial: a list of all assets and debts (include dollar values), yearly or monthly income, yearly or monthly expenses, a statement of net worth, information on bank accounts, other financial holdings and credit cards.• Legal: relevant legal documents your loved one has or wants to create (i.e. wills, advance directives, trusts, powers of attorney), location of important documents (i.e. birth certificates, deed to home), social security numbers.
  5. 5. 3 When visiting...• Before your visit, decide together with your loved ones what needs to be taken care of while you’re there, including scheduling any necessary appointments.• Make a list of household items that need to be purchased and, if possible, go out and buy them.• Allow time to go through mail and old papers.• Take note of anything out of the ordinary and of what they eat. • Check to see what they have in their refrigerator and pantry and if it’s sufficient. • Look out for safety hazards such as loose rugs, missing handrails or poor lighting.
  6. 6. 3 When visiting...Other items to assess include, are they:• Socializing with friends and other relatives?• Attending religious services or other regular events?• Keeping up with chores, housekeeping, and maintenance?• Maintaining their personal appearance and hygiene?• Eating well with a variety of foods in the house?• Opening and responding to correspondence from insurers, banks or others?• Paying bills and balancing the checkbook?• Scheduling and getting to doctor appointments or other important visits?• Getting out to the store or recreational activities?
  7. 7. 4 Gather information on community services.• The Area Agency on Aging in your parent’s community is a good place to start.• Look for services that fit the needs of your loved ones as well as an organization that can work with you long distance.• Make a list of questions you want answered and be sure to have a contact person to follow up with.
  8. 8. 5 Get help with managing care• Most communities have professionals who can gauge your loved one’s abilities and needs and set up a plan for care.• Another option is to hire a private geriatric care manager.
  9. 9. 6 Keep the Lines of Communication OpenBe sensitive to your parent’s view of the situation. At first they may notwant strangers in their home, or they may have trouble facing change.Maintain a positive focus, explain how the services will work and that theyare designed to help your parent remain independent.
  10. 10. 7 Don’t Forget Your Needs• Recognize the strain that long-distance caregiving causes, and take steps to reduce it.• Accept that it’s impossible for you to provide all the help your parent needs.• Give yourself credit for your efforts to determine needs, coordinate services and offer support by phone and occasional visits.• Ask for help when you need it. If you don’t feel that other family members are doing their share, consider a family meeting to help resolve any issues.
  11. 11. Find Quality Care Now Locate a BrightStar Near You!Find a location in the USFind a location in Canada