If you missed the inaugural HOMEcare Google Hangout, don’t worry! We gathered some of the most important takeaways from the Hangout and compiled them here for you to read.
This HOMEcare Hangout was dedicated to the discussion of long-distance caregiving. The forum leader for this discussion was Marcie Hannah, a licensed clinical social worker for LivHOME. In addition to Marcie, there were several other experts in the field of long-distance caregiving who served as panelists for this Hangout.
The first question posed to the panel concerned the general worries that face long-distance caregivers. Most panelists agreed that these family members were commonly faced with questions like “What do I need to do when I am able to be present in the home?” and “Is my loved one going to have sufficient care while I’m not here?”
Another huge concern for long-distance caregivers centers on finances. Many caregivers find themselves worrying if they have enough money to care for a loved one once financial difficulties become an issue. The panelists agreed that the key to this financial issue lies within planning ahead, which should absolutely include some sort of legal estate planning.
Since many caregivers live several states away from their loved ones, it is important to understand the necessary healthcare, legal and financial documentation. A panelist revealed that one primary concern for many of her clients revolved around the validity of legal documents across state lines. According to this expert panelist, healthcare and legal documents are generally going to be effective across state lines, as long as they are effective in the state they are created in. This information alone should alleviate a lot of concern for long-distance caregivers.
Several other expert panelists gave some wonderful insight into long distance caregiving and trying to determine when is the right time to step in and help your loved one. When you don’t live in the same city, it can be hard to know if there is really something wrong with your loved one over the phone.
Advanced planning is critical for long-distance caregivers. Often times, caregiving can last for much longer than you might have expected and you will be forced to deal with crisis from a distance. Make sure you have a plan in place beforehand to avoid unnecessary chaos and turmoil.
Utilize all caregiving resources that are available to you. There are likely many different resources available in your area, likely ones you weren’t even aware of, that can offer you some much needed support.
No matter which concerns a long-distance caregiver finds to be the most pressing, communication seems to be the key to success. For adult children, if you have siblings, it’s important to keep an open dialogue going about the caregiving process with parents. The family dynamic can be difficult to navigate during the caregiving process and open communication is vital. It’s also necessary to communicate with your loved one’s professional caregiving staff on a regular basis.