Long Distance Caregiving – YES! It Can Be Done!

Two people video chatting

Often times, due to unforeseen circumstances we may end up providing care from a distance. This can present its own set of unique challenges, but it can be done if necessary. Are you interested in learning more about some tips and tricks that can help you in this particular endeavor? This article is dedicated to ensuring that you have all the information you need!

Step 1: Centralized Info

Contact numbers and detailed information about your loved one’s illness, medicines, and resources should be available in a centralized location. If you need help with healthcare management, then it can make that process much easier. If you store the information in a shared, secure online folder then you’ll be able to access the information from anywhere and send it with whomever you need to with a simple link.

Step 2: Scheduled Visits

If you are providing long distance care to a loved one, you will need to schedule visits with them personally. Often when long-distance caregivers visit their loved ones, they feel overwhelmed with tasks that need to be taken care of. To prevent this, try to set a regular time that you are present and taking care of things. In addition, have a neighbor or other family member keep a list of tasks that need to be taken care of, then they can send it to you a couple of days before you arrive so that you’re prepared when you get there.

Step 3: Social Activities are Important

When you do visit your loved one, try to make sure that you spend some time doing things that are fun, activities that don’t have anything to do with caregiving, and have more to do with connecting. Attend church, watch a movie, or plan a dinner with other friends and family members. Caregiving is important, but continuing to build memories is also important. To top it off, these social activities will help you relax.

Step 4: Communication

As a long-distance family caregiver, you should be the king or queen of virtual conferences. You can schedule these meetings with other caregivers, relatives, and healthcare professionals. If your loved one is in a caregiving facility, you can even request teleconferences with staff members. Don’t underestimate the value of a FaceTime conversation or video call with your loved one when you aren’t able to be there in person, it can mean so much. Staying on top of video calls, phone calls, and emails will be very important when caregiving at a distance.

Step 5: Access to Your Loved One

If you are the main caregiver, and you’re long distance, then you’ll be inundated with phone calls and interruptions throughout your day. You can minimize some of this by opening up communications and giving other caregivers access to your loved one. Getting your loved one a tablet, phone, or device that they can get comfortable with will allow them to stay in touch with their friends and other family members, keep them involved, and help them feel pertinent.

Step 6: Red Tape and Paperwork

Effective caregiving happens when caregivers have access to well organized records. This includes personal records, health records, financial, and legal records. Getting this information together may seem like a very large task, but once it is done, it can be a game changer because it will allow anyone involved to respond quickly if there is a crisis. Helping your loved one get their affairs in order now can help you cut through red tape later as well, so focus on essentials, then fill in missing information and documentation over time.

Step 7: Resources

Don’t forget to gather important resources that can help you and your loved one. This includes programs, community groups, activities, and help. If you need assistance gathering resources or professional caregiving services to fill in the gaps, then Homewatch CareGivers of Woodbridge can help. We’re here to ensure that if you’re providing caregiving from a distance, that you have everything you need to be successful. Contact us today to learn more or keep browsing our site for more information.

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