In today’s fast-paced world, it’s not uncommon for families to be spread across different cities, states, or even countries. According to the National Council on Aging, about 15% of all family caregivers are long-distance caregivers.
While distance can present challenges, it doesn’t mean you can’t provide exceptional care for your loved ones. At SYNERGY HomeCare, we understand long-distance family caregivers often feel guilty for not being physically present and not knowing what is happening with their loved one. We’re here to help with that.
Here are some tips for long-distance family caregivers looking to remain involved in their loved one’s care plan:
Technology is an absolute game-changer for long-distance caregivers. Use video calls, messaging apps and social media platforms to stay connected with your loved ones.
Schedule regular virtual check-ins to assess their well-being and to provide emotional support. Additionally, explore smart home technologies that can enhance safety, such as remote monitoring devices and emergency alert systems.
Schedule Regular Visits
While video chat is powerful, the excitement of in-person visits will always remain. Whenever possible, plan visits to spend quality time with your loved one. These visits allow you to fully assess their living conditions, provide emotional support, and strengthen your bond.
Coordinate with local caregivers and homecare professionals to ensure a smooth transition during your absence.
Determine What Type of Care is Needed
One of the most effective ways to ensure your loved one is being cared for is to consider professional in-home care services. At SYNERGY HomeCare, our caregivers can provide assistance with daily activities, light cleaning, and companionship.
By enlisting the help of a professional caregiver, you can rest knowing that your loved one is receiving personalized care tailored to their specific needs.
Plan in Advance and Be Organized
The sooner you plan for your loved one’s future, the better. You can start easily by keeping all up-to-date healthcare documents, wills, and financial information safe and organized.
If your loved one can’t make medical decisions for themselves, ensure your loved ones make advance directives that outline how they want to be cared for.
Also, ensure these directives provide you with health care power of attorney. This can be lifesaving as it allows you to make quick decisions instead of going through the trouble of HIPAA confidentiality laws preventing you from being involved in your loved ones’ health care. You can also explore the idea of meeting with an estate planning attorney to obtain financial power of attorney in an emergency.
Finances can be tricky, but ensuring your loved one is covered both health-wise and financially can provide your loved one with peace of mind.
Fostering Open Communication
Maintain open and honest communication with your loved one about their needs, preferences, and concerns. Practicing a person-centered approach will help your loved one feel valued and respected.
This is their life, after all. Regularly check in on their emotional well-being and be prepared to adjust the caregiving plan as necessary.
Build a Support Network
You may not be physically present, but that doesn’t mean you have to navigate caregiving alone. Establish a support network for your loved ones, including local family members, friends, neighbors, and professionals. Connect with your loved one’s healthcare providers to see what services they need.For more information on how to care for your loved one, please read our Family Caregiver Ultimate Guide or call (877) 432-2692.