Do you know any long-distance caregivers?

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) defines a long-distance caregiver as someone who lives an hour or more away from someone who needs care. That’s a very challenging situation to be in as a caregiver. Without support, it can be a lonely road.

Why do long-distance caregivers need a support system? That question can best be answered by taking a look at what that role requires.

The Role of Long-Distance Caregivers

A long-distance caregiver can’t be there to prepare meals, help their loved one bathe and dress, or manage their medication, but there are still many responsibilities they have that need to be carried out. Here are five of them.

  1. They need to know, and keep up with, their friend’s or family member’s illness, medications, and resources available in the loved one’s area. This can help the caregiver anticipate an illness, prevent crises, and assist in healthcare management. It can also make it easier to talk with the doctor.
  2. They need to plan visits with their aging parent or relative. The long-distance caregiver has to find out in advance what is required when they arrive. Do they need to handle some caregiving responsibilities while they’re in town? Do they need to take a parent to the doctor or pharmacy? Does a parent need help shopping or fixing things around the house? The caregiver needs to prioritize what they need to do because of the limited time they’ll likely have.
  3. Long-distance caregivers often have to organize paperwork for an aging parent. There’s a great deal of information that needs to be kept in order and up to date. A senior adult sometimes needs a long-distance caregiver to step in and help with personal, health, legal, and financial records. Performing this function allows the caregiver to get a handle on all that is happening in these different areas and prepares them to respond more quickly in case of a crisis.
  4. They have to know resources in their aging relative’s neighborhood. In addition to tracking doctors and prescription information, a long-distance caregiver needs to know about pharmacies, senior centers, home care agencies, and any organizations that can help their loved one age in place.
  5. They need to keep in touch with health care providers and any in-home caregivers. An aging adult’s physical and mental health can change rapidly. Knowing the observations of a qualified individual who has personal contact with their relative is essential for a long-distance caregiver. The caregiver has to continually stay current on their loved one’s conditions and any new developments.

Why The Long-Distance Caregiver Needs Support

As you can tell from the list of responsibilities you’ve just read, it’s readily apparent that even though they may not be close geographically to their loved one, they have to act in many ways as if they were there personally. The support they receive from people and agencies local to the senior act as the eyes and ears of the long-distance caregiver. Their support is invaluable.

We Can Help Your Aging Loved One!

Seniors Prefer Homecare provides the support that long-distance caregivers need. Our personalized, affordable care can be provided in the home hourly or around the clock.

We also offer respite care if the long-distance caregiver has a family member or friend acting as a local, primary caregiver. Our re