Maybe you live an hour away from the loved one you care for, perhaps a few states separate you, either way, you qualify as a long-distance caregiver. Long-distance caregiving can be a job fraught with feelings of guilt and exhaustion. To help you cope with negative emotions and care for your parent as well as possible, here are a few tips.
Recognize and deal with negative emotions
Though unwelcome, negative emotions do occur in care-giving relationships. Any caregiving is a difficult job; however, adding miles between you and a loved one can cause an excess of tension. You may worry about your loved one or feel guilty about not being closer. It’s important to acknowledge these emotions and take steps to deal with them.
For example, to deal with guilt, try calling more often or send a letter. Bettering communication will make your parent feel cared for and loved. Next, recognize your limitations and strengths as a caregiver. Make a list of things you’re able to do from far away and face the reality that you may not be able to do anything about the distance. Accepting these thoughts and working through them can help avoid burnout.
Use technology to your advantage
Improvements in technology have had countless effects on the reality of long-distance caregiving in past years. There are apps to remind your loved one to take their medication, the ability to talk face-to-face when you’re miles apart, and cameras that allow you to check-in remotely. To avoid your loved one from feeling infringed upon, make sure to approve these things before installing any technology.
Research caregiving services
Conduct research to find the best in-house caregiver for your loved one. There are plenty of agencies that provide everything from healthy meals to house cleaning and companion services. Talk to your loved one to figure out what would be best for their health and well-being before deciding on any one agency. If your parent has a debilitating disease like dementia or is recovering from a stroke, they might need a full-time caregiver. The staff at Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our Balanced Care Method ™ incorporates social activity, both between client and caregiver to help facilitate your loved one in maintaining social connections in and outside the home.
Develop a relationship with the health care team
One way to feel more involved in a loved one’s life is to form a relationship with their health team. Get to know primary physicians, nurses, and caregivers. This way, you all can communicate to keep your parent safe and sound. A network of doctors, friends, and relatives can effectively set up a schedule to check-in.
Dealing with the responsibility of long-distance caregiving can feel draining at times. However, there are plenty of resources available for your use. For more information about our services, click this link.