It’s come to the point where Dad can’t live alone anymore. Your sister has offered to take him into her home and care for him, but you feel guilty. Living out-of-state means you are not present as often as you feel you should be. You’ve hired a caregiver from MAS Home Care Rhode Island to aid your family, and while that is a great assistance, you still wish there was more you could do.
The first step is to realize that not all circumstances, such as where we live, are in our control. Certain situations may require you to be there. That does not diminish your role in caring for a loved one. There are plenty of options for long-distance caregivers to show they care in their own way. Long-distance caregivers can provide emotional support for a primary caregiver, offer to coordinate services like respite care, or take on managing another important aspect of a loved one’s life, such as their finances. Any of these, or other ways of helping, can be achieved with organization and good communication with other family caregivers.
The following are other ways to maximize your impact as a long-distance caregiver.
- Regularly call the primary caregiver and listen to their concerns. Be a good listener and be willing to work out a new plan if necessary.
- Keep yourself informed about the person’s medical condition. This can range from requesting copies of medical records (if you have the patient’s permission) to staying up to date on the latest advancement and studies of the disease.
- Offer to step in for a week or weekend as the caregiver, while the other family member gets a vacation.
- Call or send cards on important occasions (birthdays, holidays, anniversaries).
- Try to work your phone calls or video chats around the person’s regular routine. Follow their routine when visiting, especially when dealing with dementia patients.
- When you are in town, make the most of your time. Find out what you can assist with while you are there. Don’t forget to set aside quality time together to catch up and enjoy a fun activity.
Contact MAS Home Care of Rhode Island today at 866-404-8325 or RI@mashomecare.com.