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Caregiving from afar

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Tips for long-distance care giving.

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Caregiving from afar

  1. 1. Caregiving From Afar For Canadian Armed Forces Families
  2. 2. Caregiving From Afar • It is becoming increasingly common for family members to care for their elderly relatives who live in different parts of the country. • Canadian Armed Forces families are often posted and/or deployed away from their extended families. • The key to successful long distance caregiving is: Preparation
  3. 3. Areas to consider when preparing for long-distance caregiving • Medical • Financial • Legal • Insurance • Social/Family
  4. 4. Medical Educate Yourself: • Learn about your relative’s medical condition and the local eldercare services. • The more you know about the available services and your relative’s illness and treatment, the better prepared you will be to manage your relative’s care.
  5. 5. Medical Meet with Service Providers: • Meet with your relative’s doctors, case managers, and other service providers. • Ask questions about your loved one’s condition and prognosis. • See if you can schedule occasional calls in order to stay up to date with your relative’s medical care. • Have your relative sign a release that will allow the service providers to talk to you about all aspects of your relative’s health and treatment.
  6. 6. Financial • Know where your relative keeps their financial documents. • You will want to have information about all sources of income, chequing and savings accounts, investment accounts, monthly bills, and expenses. • You may also need information for accountants, tax preparers, and others who may have information about your relative’s finances. • Discuss with your family member about the possibility of becoming a joint owner of any important assets so you can manage your relative’s finances when they are not longer able to.
  7. 7. Legal • Request copies and know where your relative stores the originals of important legal documents such as: will, deed to the house, and/or advance health care directive. • Talk to your family member about granting you the power of the attorney so that you have the authority to legally act on the behalf of your relative when they are no longer able to do so.
  8. 8. Insurance In the case of an emergency make sure that you have a list of: • All insurance policies • The insurance carriers • All insurance account numbers
  9. 9. Social/Family Create a Network: • A network of people will help you care for your relative. • Your network could include: family, neighbors, friends, clergy, and others who might be trustworthy and willing to help. • This network of people could check in with your relative regularly and be your contact in case of an emergency.
  10. 10. Social/Family Geriatric Care Manager: • Geriatric Care Managers are a profession that is relatively new in Canada. • They are hired privately by families • Some extended benefit packages may cover this cost. • Consider hiring a Geriatric Care Manager to manage your relative’s care when you are not able to. • These professionals can evaluate your relative’s situation and recommend and coordinate the necessary care.
  11. 11. Social/Family Stay Connected: • Helping your relative to stay connected with family and friends is an important part of caregiving. • Creative ideas to help him/her feel connected to friends and family could include: weekly or bi- weekly phone calls and/or drop a card or letter in the mail at least once/month. • If your elderly relative is computer literate you could keep in touch via Facebook or Skype.

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