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Long-Distance Caregivers Aren’t Alone

Long-Distance Caregivers Aren’t Alone

You might be a long-distance caregiver without realizing it. Long-distance caregiving is often a necessity because it’s not always possible to live in the same city as our loved ones. That doesn’t mean you care any less than someone who lives in the same city, of course, it simply means that you offer support in different ways. The kinds of care vary from person to person, but maybe you offer financial assistance or help coordinate care.

Long-distance caregiving is challenging, but it can seem even more daunting if you don’t realize just how many people are long-distance caregivers. If you live more than an hour away from your loved one, then you’re considered a long-distance caregiver. Since older adults are increasingly likely to move to new places, long-distance caregiving is only going to become more common. So, you’re certainly not alone.

Difficulties Facing Long-Distance Caregivers

From communication to working out logistics, caregiving is difficult and distance complicates it even further. Even a phone call to catch up can become complicated due to differing schedules and separate time zones. There’s also an emotional toll on caregivers. Even caregivers who are fortunate to live with loved ones experience guilt. But for long-distance caregivers, in particular, establishing a care plan can help ease anxiety and guilt.

Senior living communities can be a wonderful resource for both long-distance caregivers and their loved ones. If there are multiple levels of care offered, then your loved one can receive all of the assistance they need while maintaining as much independence as they want. It’s comforting to know your loved one is surrounded by a community of caring neighbors and staff who can be there when you’re not able to be there.

Connect with Fellow Caregivers

Fellow caregivers could mean family members, friends or medical professionals. It’s important to stay on the same page as family members and friends, so that you’re all able to offer the stability and support your loved one needs. Since long-distance caregivers might not make it to every doctor’s appointment, you should remain in contact with any doctors, pharmacists or staff members at the senior living community. It can also help to research the conditions that affect your loved one.

You should collect important information ahead of time, so that you’re prepared in case of emergency. AARP recommends keeping the following medical information organized and accessible:

  1. Medical records

  2. Notes on any conditions

  3. List of medications

  4. Names and phone numbers of all doctors

  5. Name and phone number of their pharmacy

If you ever need help – whether it’s from a family member or medical professional – never hesitate to ask.

Reach Out

You can make yourself available and be active in your loved one’s life without being physically present. Luckily, technology has made long-distance communication more convenient than ever before. Reaching out to others around your loved one is also important. Create a contact list and offer your contact information as well. Get to know neighbors and staff at the senior living community, and let them know they can get in touch with you whenever necessary.

Are you or a loved one exploring senior and assisted living communities? Melrose Meadows is a certified assisted and independent living community in Iowa City, Iowa. We provide an independent, secure lifestyle for our residents in a vibrant, all-inclusive setting. Schedule a tour today to see if Melrose Meadows is a good fit for your future.

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