Long-distance caregivers generally want to help with the medical care of their loved ones, but are simply confused about how to make a difference from a distance. While being absent can be difficult for long-distance caregivers, it is possible to take an active role in making sound medical decisions and planning for the future of family members. LivHOME Homecare offers many unique services to help bridge the gap for long-distance caregivers, offering peace of mind when they cannot be present. So, how can long-distance caregivers begin to help seniors?
When long-distance caregivers are adequately informed about the condition, treatment and likely outcome of their loved one’s illness, coping with the day-to-day stresses of separation becomes much easier.
- Learn as much as possible about your loved one’s illness
- Research the current treatments being administered for the illness or condition
- Understand the likely course of the illness or condition
While visiting your loved one, make it a point to attend a doctor’s appointment together. Naturally, long-distance caregivers should always check that their loved one does not mind having them present during the doctor’s visit. In addition, caregivers must be given permission to discuss seniors’ medical details with their physician. For this reason, it is vital for seniors to complete and submit an official release form allowing physicians to discuss healthcare issues with caregivers. It is always a good idea to update the release form information on a yearly basis and keep copies in a backup file at home. When long-distance caregivers go with a loved one to visit the doctor, the following tips will help make the most of the appointment:
- Bring a pre-planned list of questions to ask the doctor
- Take notes on the doctor’s recommendations
- Before attending the appointment, openly ask the senior, additional caregivers and other family members if they have any additional questions or concerns to be brought up when speaking with the doctor
- When the doctor asks a question, never answer for your loved one unless you have specifically been asked to
- Speak to both the doctor and senior during the appointment
- Respect the privacy and wishes of your loved one; leave the room if asked to do so