7 Essential Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers

By Richard Hemmi, 9:00 am on

Trying to care for an aging loved one who lives in a different city or state can be a challenging task. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elderly care Cleveland West seniors can trust and rely on. You are likely to be presented with various challenges, which include maintaining a positive and fulfilling relationship with your loved one. These 7 tips can help alleviate many of the common problems long-distance caregivers experience. 

1. Create a Comprehensive Contact List

Create a list of everyone your loved one stays in touch with. Long-distance caregivers should keep an up-to-date contact list of their loved one’s doctors, medical specialists, neighbors, friends, and faith leaders. Reach out to these individuals whenever you need assistance. 

2. Update Medical Information Every Few Months

Do not wait until there is an emergency to update your loved one’s medical information. Keep a comprehensive list describing your loved one’s health conditions and medications with you at all times. Consider printing out additional copies for people who live closer to your loved one. 

3. Contact Local Senior Organizations

Even smaller cities often have dedicated senior organizations that offer affordable or free services. They might be able to assist your loved one with rides to medical appointments, grocery stores, and religious gatherings. Many also organize social events so seniors can interact with one another in a safe and comfortable setting. 

4. Work with a Professional Caregiver

There may come a point when you can no longer provide adequate care from a distance, and need to hire a professional caregiver. There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider respite home care. Cleveland West, OH, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional respite caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself. A trained in-home caregiver can give you peace of mind and help with many tasks such as making meals, providing medication reminders, running errands, and light housekeeping. 

5. Find New Ways to Keep in Touch

A phone isn’t the only way to maintain a long-distance relationship. Spending some time helping your loved one create social media accounts or an email address could strengthen your relationship. If your loved one has access to that type of technology, he or she might not be as hesitant to contact you when feeling lonely or needing help. 

6. Make Your Visits as Productive as Possible

Enjoy every visit you have with your loved one, but also try to be as productive as possible. Before your trip, write a schedule and send it to your loved one and the in-home caregiver. Even if the schedule is vague, it can help you make the most out of your time. 

7. Remember You Can’t Control Everything

Long-distance caregivers should remind themselves that some things are out of their control. They can do their best to ensure their aging loved one is comfortable and happy, but mishaps can happen at any time. At some point, you may need to ask for help, especially if your loved one has progressed with a serious medical condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Cleveland West seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. Call (440) 455-4031 to speak with a friendly Care Manager and find out about our flexible care plans.