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How To Manage Long Distance Caregiving

Ideally, we could all care for our own senior loved ones. Unfortunately, many adults with older people to care for don’t live close enough to manage the day-to-day issues. In fact, nearly half of all American adults who have or expect to have an aging relative in need of care in the next four years, lives over an hour away.

A few of those caregivers will be able to move closer to the senior but most of those cannot. Some families are not even close enough for a car ride and live far enough away that a lengthy trip is required to visit the senior.

In those cases, time and expenses are limited and local resources must be used. In the beginning stages for a senior who needs additional care, the long-distance caregiver should make plans to be alerted to changes in the senior’s status and be ready to add services as needed. This may include:

  • Get to know the neighbors and friends! When you visit, check in with the neighbors. You can usually find one or two who can check on your senior loved one and are willing to give you routine updates by phone or email. Your senior’s friends may also do the same.
  • Get to know the local business owners. Find out where your elder gets prescriptions filled or what stores he or she may frequent. Small business owners are often willing to take note of odd behavior or significant changes in routine.
  • Alert the mail carrier. The person who delivers the mail may be able to let you know if the mail has not been picked up. Some post offices or other local services may also be able to help identify issues such as inattention to the yard.
  • Look for resources in the area. Find senior services available in the local area including eld rcare, transportation services, senior centers, and church groups who may be able to help with daily activities.
  • Investigate professional caregiver services. While your senior may not need them just yet, knowing where to turn for issues such as grocery shopping, errand running, meal preparation, medication reminders and even companionship can help to avoid future issues. These professionals can do everything from simple welfare checks to full-time care and can alert you to any significant changes.

Seniors may initially reject outside assistance and desire complete independence. When this is not possible, a frank conversation may be in order but in the end, most seniors enjoy the companionship and attention that professional caregivers can provide!

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