If you live an hour or more from a senior loved one and are assisting with daily living, you are considered a long-distance caregiver. You may be a family member or close friend who cares deeply about a specific senior’s needs. Your role as a long-distance caregiver may vary according to a senior’s situation. Seniors often need people willing and able to help with their healthcare needs.
What Roles Can a Long-Distance Caregiver Fill?
There’s much you can do as a long-distance caregiver to help a senior in need. Depending on your circumstances, you could help with money management and paying the bills, hire professional in-home care, provide respite care for full-time caregivers when needed, arrange doctor visits and refills for a senior’s medications and keep the rest of the family informed of your loved one’s health and welfare.
Importance of Staying in the Know
It’s important that at least one family member stay current on a senior loved one’s health and welfare. This requires talking to their loved one’s physician on a regular basis to get updates on his or her condition. This individual should learn all they can about their loved one’s illnesses and treatments to get a better understanding of what their loved one is going through. The more you know about a senior’s medical condition, the better equipped you are to handle health care situations that may arise in the future.
At least one member of your family should have written permission to receive medical information from healthcare providers. This information should be organized and compiled in a specific place such as a notebook or computer to share with the rest of the family. This data should include medical history and care, social services involved, contact info for healthcare providers, financial aspects of medical care, etc.
Dividing Caregiving Responsibilities
By team working together and dividing caregiving responsibilities, you can make long distance caregiving work for you. The first step would be to appoint a primary caregiver to handle any emergencies that may arise. From there, you can discuss what tasks need to be done and how to divide these tasks so everyone can pitch in with your loved one’s care.
When dividing responsibilities, take into account the various skills people possess within your family. If your brother’s good with finances, he may be the best choice for handling your loved one’s banking, bill paying, budget, etc. If you’re good with people, maybe you could communicate with doctors, caregivers and pharmacists and update your family on your loved one’s care.
When assuming caregiving responsibilities, make sure you have the time, ability and finances to handle whatever tasks you accept to help your team succeed.
At Sunny Days In-Home Care, we have years of experience in providing quality senior care services to elderly seniors in our local community. For information on how we can complement and enhance your long distance caregiving efforts, call us at 724-260-5186 today.