Caring From a Distance – Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers

Caring From a Distance – Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers

If you are a long-distance caregiver for an elderly relative, you are not alone.  According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, around 15 percent of family caregivers live more than an hour away from their an elder and struggle to provide the oversight and care that their loved one needs.  Here are some tips from our Elder Care Coordinator to help you make the best of a sometimes-challenging situation:

  • Concentrate on things that you can do remotely such as seek out help from the community such as the next-door neighbor, a family friend or engage the services of a trusted home care agency to regularly check on your loved one and share any concerns with you.
  • Make sure that the elder has up-to-date legal documents such as a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive, along with a simple will. It’s important that you and those designated as the representatives have copies of these important documents.
  • When you visit, go through the house or apartment and identify safety concerns (such as throw rugs, poor lighting and cluttered walkways). Assist the elder with making their home as safe as possible.
  • If your loved one lives alone, ensure that they have a Personal Emergency Response Pendant or watch that they wear regularly, in case they fall or become ill and need emergency help.
  • Keep a list of your loved one’s prescriptions, supplements and any over the counter medications that they are taking and update it regularly.
  • Plan ahead for the “what ifs” of aging by being aware of supportive senior housing in your loved one’s geographic area, in the event that they need short-term assisted living or long-term nursing home care.

While we realize that as a long-distance caregiver you can’t plan for every change in your loved one’s aging journey, we are here to help.  Our Life Care Planning attorneys offer detailed preparation of legal documents, guidance on asset protection planning and assistance with Medicaid qualification. Working hand in hand with our elder law attorneys, our Elder Care Coordinator provides assurance that your loved one receives the appropriate and highest level of care whether at home or in a senior living community.  If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Life Care Planning, please give our office a call at 856-489-8388. We look forward to hearing from you.

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