Are you the primary caregiver for an elderly loved one who lives far away? If so, you know how challenging it can be to manage long-distance caregiving. You may feel like you’re not doing enough or that you’re unable to be there for your loved one the way you want. But don’t worry – you can make it work with a little planning and organization.
Here are six tips to help you make the most of your situation and provide the best possible care for your loved one:
Stay in Regular Communication
Staying in touch with your loved one is essential. Whether you’re catching up on the phone, video chatting, or sending emails or cards; regular communication will help you both feel connected and allow you to stay updated on how things are going on in each other’s lives.
Make a Plan
Before you start caregiving from a distance, it’s essential to sit down with your loved one and make a plan. This plan should include things like what their care needs are, who will be responsible for what tasks, and how you will keep in touch. Having a plan in place will help to make the caregiving process run more smoothly.
Caregiving can be expensive, so it’s also essential to create a budget and stick to it. When you know how much money you have to work with, you can better plan for unexpected expenses and avoid financial stress.
Keep Track of Medications
If your loved one is taking medication, it’s essential to stay on top of their prescriptions. Make sure you know what they’re taking, when they need to take it, and any possible side effects. It can also be helpful to set up reminders for yourself or your loved one so that medications are taken on time.
You can use a medication tracker app or spreadsheet to stay organized, or you can ask your doctor or pharmacist to help you out. You should also have a list of emergency contacts handy in case something happens.
Check in with Other Family Members and Friends
If you have other family members or friends close to your loved one, check in with them regularly. Enlist the help of friends, family members, and other nearby caregivers.
This way, you can divide the caregiving tasks and ensure that your loved one is always getting the care and attention they need. They can also provide you with additional support and help to keep you updated on how your loved one is doing.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s important to remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. You can’t take care of someone else if you’re not caring for yourself. Make time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes each day, and do things that make you happy. Relax, exercise, eat healthily, and get plenty of sleep.
Taking care of yourself will help you avoid burnout and be a better caregiver in the long run. Many resources are available to long-distance caregivers, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance.
Get Help When You Need It
There’s no shame in admitting that you need help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to other family members, friends, or professional caregivers for assistance. Don’t try to do everything on your own—asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Long-distance caregiving can be isolating, so it’s essential to have people you can rely on.
Remember to take care of yourself and reach out for help when you need it. The Kansas City Home Care team is here to support you in any way we can. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance with anything related to caring for your loved one.