If you are a friend, a son, a daughter or other relative living more than an hour away from a person who relies on your help you are probably a long distance care giver. Performing any care giving role can be challenging and distance can present a number of new challenges to the task. You may ask yourself, what can a care giver really do from afar? Long-distance caregivers can take on several different roles.
Help with money management, or bill paying.
Arrange for professional caregivers, home health or nursing aides.
Help get necessary medical equipment.
Assist with basic home maintenance or yard care.
Evaluate the home for safety and assist with installation of things like access ramps or grab bars for the shower.
Provide support or occasionally step in for a primary caregiver.
Help locate an appropriate assisted living community.
Serve as an information coordinator. Research health problems or medicines, help navigate needs as they change.
Keep family and friends updated and informed
Create a plan and prepare paperwork in case of an emergency.
How to get started
Ask the primary caregiver and or the care recipient how you can be most helpful.
Talk to other caregivers to see if they have any suggestions.
Look into local resources that may be helpful.
Do your best to Develop an understanding of the person’s health issues.
Visit as often as you can to monitor changes.
Many of us don’t automatically start with a lot of caregiver skills. Information and training opportunities are available at some nonprofit organizations that are focused on caregivers or specific medical conditions. Also, local senior centers often host informational seminars or training sessions on a variety of aging related topics.