Caring for an elderly loved one is difficult, especially when they live across the country. More than 7 million Americans have taken on the role of being a long distance caregiver and face the challenge of finding information and resources needed to keep their family safe and healthy from afar.
As a long distance caregiver, it brings comfort to know that your family is being cared for and there is help in case of an emergency. Utilization of the following strategies will help to ensure your loved one is safe and can remain independent in their own home.
1. Get organized. Keep a list of your loved one’s symptoms, conditions, medications, healthcare providers, pharmacy and insurances and make changes as needed. The more information you are able to compile, the better you will be prepared in the event of an emergency.
2. Find a support system. Whether a fellow family member, neighbor, or friend, ask them to check in and report any changes that may need immediate attention.
3. Plan a visit. If only for a short period, spend some time with your loved one in person. Take the opportunity to relax and enjoy each other’s company, while having the chance to attend appointments and assess any changes first hand. This will allow you to adjust the caregiving needs if you see something that needs to be changed.
4. Get outside help. Several resources are available for those who are unable to personally tend to their loved one’s needs. Home health organizations offer an array of services ranging from skilled nursing care and rehabilitative therapies to assistance with tasks of daily living and personal care. If your loved one requires around the clock care, contact your local provider to discuss available options.
Being a long distance caregiver is challenging, but finding a strong support system can make the situation more manageable.
The staff at Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio develops a plan of care for every patient and family based on their individual needs and situation. VNA of Ohio connects the patient, their family and physicians to provide a comprehensive continuum of care, allowing them to remain safe and independent. Home Assist™ private-duty services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for patients who require additional care. From caring for complex medical conditions to assisting with everyday tasks, VNA of Ohio gives our patients and their families’ peace of mind and a better quality of life.