When your loved one begins to need additional support, you may not always live next door. 15% of caregivers in the U.S. are long-distance caregivers at an average of 450 miles away. That’s around 10 million Americans of the almost 66 million who have served as caregivers for a loved one. If you are one of these outstanding caregivers, here are six tips from Where You Live Matters to help your loved one, even from far away.
- Evaluate What You Can Do. It’s okay that you can’t do everything for your loved one! If you’re good with money, you can offer financial help, paying bills and managing finances. If you’re an organizer, you could organize important documents or arrange for friends and neighbors to bring meals. Once you know what you can do, you’ll be able to make a plan that covers the gaps.
- Explore Different Living Arrangements. Sometimes your loved one might need help that’s closer to home. Some families can make it work to move closer, and for others it might make more sense for the loved ones to move closer to them. If either of these options are out of the question, moving into a senior living community or hiring in-home care can provide their needed support.
- Have a Family Meeting. It’s important to get everyone on the same page, whether it’s in person or virtually. Once you all understand your loved one’s needs and wants, you can work out a plan of action and set a schedule. Once the plan is in place, make sure to keep everyone updated, especially your loved one. Learn more about starting the conversation here.
- Plan Visits. It is important to actually see your loved one from time to time. Spend quality time with them and find out exactly what they need.
- Have an Emergency Plan. In case of an accident or other emergency, have a plan in place to get there on short notice. Set up a support system who can step in while you’re gone and keep a list of their contact information and roles.
- Stay Connected. Scheduling calls with doctors, senior living communities, neighbors who check on them, and of course your loved one can help you to get up-to-date information. Distance can be challenging, but these tips and using your support system can make it more manageable.
Contact us today to find out more about the community nearest you.