Caregiving is often a very involved task. Depending on the condition of your ward, you might need to be with them throughout the day. But that might not always be possible, especially if you have other tasks. That is where providers of home health care suggest you try long-distance caregiving. Let’s explore how it works and how you can make it happen the right way.
How Long-Distance Caregiving Works
As the name implies, long-distance caregiving is about assisting your loved ones even when you are not physically with them. By definition, a long-distance caregiver is anyone who lives at least an hour’s drive away from their wards.
Why You Might Want To Resort To Long-Distance Caregiving
You might wonder why some people opt for long-distance caregiving instead of bringing their wards to live with them. Often, this might be due to living circumstances. For instance, your work might require yahoo to live at a certain location. Or it might be that your current home is not enough to accommodate your sick loved one.
On the other hand, some patients might prefer to live alone even in their condition. That is often the case with parents who chose to stay in their original house after their children moved out. Even when sick, they might refuse to move in with you.
The Challenges Of Being A Long-Distance Caregiver
Being a caregiver is already challenging work. But having to do it while you are far from your ward adds a new set of concerns. These can make it harder for you to care for them. Understanding these challenges will help you better cope with them.
It might surprise you but long-distance caregiving can sometimes be costlier than in-person care. According to the American Association Of Retired Persons, long-distance caregivers spend as much as $12,000 yearly in travel costs alone. Such travels can also be a taxing experience, especially for those crossing states.
Aside from the travel costs, there is also the cost of getting paid help. That includes the actual care providers that your ward interacts with. You might also get people for housekeeping duties and other errands. Around 41% of long-distance caregivers opt for these services.
The Challenge Of Proper Assessment
A difficulty with being a long-distance caregiver is that you won’t be able to assess your loved one’s health properly. While you can use technology like video chat and other communication tools, it might still be enough. Here, your loved ones might not readily open up about their health condition if you are not in front of them.
That can result in many anxious moments, as you wonder what is ailing your loved ones. There might also be a feeling of guilt or emotional distress over the situation. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, nearly 47% of long-distance caregivers report experiencing this emotional distress.
How You Can Become An Effective Long-Distance Caregiver
Given all of these circumstances, you might wonder how you can effectively accomplish your task as a caregiver from afar. For that, the key is making the right preparations. That will help you better manage your ward’s situation even from afar.
The first thing you need to do when preparing to be a long-distance caregiver is ensure that you have access to everything you need. The idea here is that you want everything set up so you can easily use this research even if you are not physically with your ward.
Financial matters are a vital item you want to iron out early. Talk with your other family members about how you will pay for the home health care services. Discuss other expenses that you might need to deal with.
You would also want to be clear about how you will access vital information resources. Ask your loved ones if they can provide authorizations and other documents. That is so that you can talk to their doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies and get information about them.
Lastly, you want to develop an emergency plan. The plan will outline how to respond to situations when you are not with your loved one. For instance, you should determine if a neighbor can respond to urgent matters. Talk to that person and provide them with all the essential details and resources.
Understanding What You Can Do
You should also have a clear picture of what you can do as a long-distance caregiver. Here are the most common roles that you can take on.
- Do money management and bills payment
- Arrange for care services, whether in-home or in a nursing facility
- Coordinate with other members of your family
- Emotional support for the entire family.
Note that you don’t need to fill in all of these roles at once. Remember that you also have other things to attend to. As such, you should be clear about what responsibilities you can take on.
Building Your Team
Since we are already on the topic of what you can do as a long-distance caregiver, you might wonder about the things you can’t. This is where having a team. Your family and friends will be at the core of that team. They will serve as your responders in case of emergencies.
Talk to each member and determine which role best suits them. Here, you should consider their situations and delegate the appropriate role to them. As mentioned earlier, you should also provide them with the information and resources they need.
Aside from your immediate family members, you must have professionals around. Home health care services like Amavi can give you a full care team. That includes medical professionals relevant to your ward’s condition and support staff like housekeepers. The team we provide is fully customizable as needed.
Make Time For Visits
The point of being a long-distance caregiver is, of course, to attend to your loved ones even if you can’t be physically present. But don’t forget the importance of regular visits for them. Thus, you should ensure to drop by often as your schedule permits.
Make these visits worthwhile for you and your loved ones by checking your loved one’s current situation. You would also want to ensure they will have a great time with you during your stay. Lastly, look around for potential issues and resolve them personally before your leave.
Give The Best Home Health Care For Your Loved Ones Even When You Are Away
Being a long-distance caregiver is by no means easy. There are many things you need to ensure for it to work out. But with the best home health care service around, you can be more confident. Sign up with us today and let us help you support your loved ones from even far away.