Long-distance caregiving tips
can tell you everything you need to know about your family member's or friend's disease, including what medications they're taking and what services are available. Knowledge will help you understand what's going on, predict how a disease will progress, avoid emergencies, and control your healthcare. It can also make it easier to communicate with the doctor. Obtain written consent from at least one family member to obtain medical and financial details. One family member can manage all conversations with healthcare providers to the extent practicable.
Put all of your important information in one location, such as a notebook or a shared, safe online document. This contains all pertinent details about medical care, social programs, phone numbers, and financial concerns, among other things. Make copies for other caregivers and update the records.
2. Visits with an aging parent or relative should be planned ahead of time.
When paying a visit to a loved one, you can feel as though there is just too much to do in the time available. By talking to a family member or friend ahead of time and figuring out what he or she wants to do, you will get things done and feel less depressed. Also, if necessary, consult with the primary caregiver to learn what he or she needs, such as taking on certain caregiving duties while you are away. This will assist you in establishing specific and achievable objectives for your visit. Is it appropriate for your mother to buy new winter clothes or, for example, pay a visit to another family member? Is it possible that your father might use some help with the housework? Do you want to meet with the doctor who treats your mother? Make a list of the most important objectives and set aside the others for a future visit.
- When Visiting an Aging Parent or Relative, Try These Activities
Allow time for items that aren't connected to becoming a caregiver. Perhaps you should schedule a visit with old friends or other family members, or find a movie to watch with your relative. Maybe they'd like to go to a church service. Offer to play a card game or a board game with you. Take a drive together or visit the library. Finding a small amount of time to do something simple and enjoyable will benefit everyone while also creating more family memories. Also, bear in mind that your trip is focused on your friend or relative; try to put off outside distractions before you return home.
- Get in Touch with Us and Stay in Touch with Us
Many families arrange phone calls with physicians, assisted living facility administrators, or nursing home staff so that several relatives can engage in a single discussion and learn about a relative's health and progress. If your loved one is in a nursing home, you can arrange teleconferences with the staff on a regular basis. A social worker can be helpful in providing updates as well as assisting in decision-making. You might also speak with a family member or a neighbor who will give you a practical perspective on what's going on. This could be the other parent in some situations. Don't undervalue the importance of having a phone and email contact list. It's a straightforward way to keep you informed of your parents' needs.
- Assist an aging parent in staying in touch from afar
A private phone line installed in their father's nursing home room enabled him to communicate with his family. Giving Grandma a mobile phone (and then showing her how to use it) provided peace of mind for another family. Easy tactics like these will save your life. However, be aware that you will be inundated with phone calls or text messages. It's a smart idea to plan ahead of time on how you'll handle several calls.
- Organize Paperwork for a Parent Who Is Getting Older
A long-distance caregiver can be of great assistance by organizing paperwork. Having a lot of knowledge organized and up to date is an integral part of successful caregiving. Long-distance caregivers often need access to intimate, health, financial, and legal records of a parent or relative.
Putting all of this stuff together is a lot of work at first, and it can seem much more difficult from afar. However, once you've collected everything, several other caregiving activities will become much simpler. Maintaining up-to-date details about your parents' health and medical care, as well as their finances, home ownership, and other legal issues, helps you to stay on top of things and respond more effectively in the event of a crisis.
When you first begin, concentrate on collecting the basics and filling in the blanks as you go. Discuss any incomplete details or paperwork with the older person and the primary caregiver, as well as how you can assist in the organization of the documents. It's also a good idea to double-check that all financial matters are in order, including wills and life insurance plans. If anyone has a lasting power of attorney, it can also help (the legal document naming one person to handle financial and property issues for another).
It's possible that a member of your family or a close friend would be unable to share personal details with you. Explain that you are not attempting to violate their privacy or take control of their personal lives; rather, you are attempting to gather what would be required in the case of an emergency. Assure them that their privacy will be respected, and then hold your word. If they remain uneasy, see if they will be willing to consult with an attorney (some attorneys specialize in elder law) or another trusted family member or acquaintance.
7.Learn Additional Caregiving Tips
Having any caregiving experience can be beneficial if you are the primary caregiver or a long-distance caregiver. Many of us, like many other things in life, do not come equipped with a wide range of caregiver skills. Education will show you how to safely transfer someone from a bed to a chair, assist with bathing, prevent and treat bed sores, and provide basic first aid. Online resources for learning opportunities are open. Some local branches of the American Red Cross, as well as some charitable organizations that concentrate on caregiving, can offer courses. This preparation is sometimes covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
- Make a list of local resources for your elderly relative.
Searching the Internet for tools is a good place to start. To learn about available resources, contact your local library or senior center, the Area Agency on Aging, or the Eldercare Locator.