Caring from a distance is challenging
Long-distance caregivers often wonder how to help when they can’t be there in person. Typically, these are adult children who now live far from their aging parents.
Even if you’re not close by, there are many ways you can help make sure they stay safe and as healthy as possible.
All the long distance caregiving tips you’ll need
We found a helpful free guide to long distance caregiving from Family Caregiver Alliance. FCA is a leading nonprofit organization that supports families who care for older adults.
The guide starts with “ground rules” that emphasize the importance of self care and a support team. It goes on to cover important legal and financial documents you’ll need to gather. Then, it gets into the practical business of caregiving.
This comprehensive guide is free to print or download. It has an overview of everything you’ll need to be a great long distance caregiver. That way, you won’t have to worry about missing something important.
Avoid feeling overwhelmed, start with 7 essential sections
Everything in this guide is helpful, but the amount of material might feel overwhelming at first. We suggest starting with these 7 key sections.
1. Checklist of Care Needs, Page 11
The first step is to understand the situation and figure out what your older adult needs help with. That way, you can find the right services to meet their needs.
2. Care Managers, Page 12
Someone who can be there in person is a valuable member of your care team. This section describes how geriatric care managers can help.
3. Who’s on Your Team?, Page 13
We love this section because it tells you how to put your caregiving team together. The team is an essential support system for both your older adult and you. This list helps you think creatively about people near your senior who can help in person.
4. Places to Start, Page 14
This is a list of key elder care agencies and providers in your older adult’s local area.
5. Paying for Care, Page 20
Long-term care isn’t covered by Medicare and not everyone qualifies for coverage under Medicaid. That’s why it’s important to create a financial plan to pay for the services your older adult needs.
6. Practical Tips and Resources for a Distant Caregiver, Page 21
This is a great summary of the variety of ways you can provide long-distance care and support to your senior.
7. Helpful Agencies & Organizations, Page 24
This is another useful list of key government and nonprofit agencies that provide benefits and help to seniors and caregivers.
Once you feel comfortable with those sections, move on to learn about these additional topics:
- Gathering information so you can make care decisions
- Your caregiving strengths and limits
- Balancing work and caregiving
- How to hold a family meeting to discuss roles and responsibilities
This guide to long distance caregiving is comprehensive. It gives an overview of everything you’ll need to know, how to plan for success, and lists many helpful resources.
You might also like:
— Long Distance Caregiving: Does Your Parent Need Help?
— Local Community Resources for Seniors and Caregivers: Area Agency on Aging
— Use This Guide to Help Seniors Stay in Their Homes
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: The Oldish