Whether your elderly family member suddenly needs a lot of help or has gradually gotten to a point where she’s experiencing challenges, it might be time for you to take a more active role as her primary family caregiver. But what about if you live far away? That means you’re becoming a long-distance caregiver, which has its own challenges.
Make Sure Everyone Involved Is on the Same Page
If everyone in your senior’s life, including her medical team and anyone who is helping her in person, is using different information you’re going to have a tough time keeping everyone informed. It’s crucial that everyone get on the same page about what needs to happen and what your senior needs most. That might mean scheduling a family meeting with everyone at once.
Put a Team in Place
You’re going to need a team in order to get things done for your senior. That team consists first of you as the primary family caregiver, your senior, her medical team, and any family members who can help out. If your elderly family member is dealing with more than a few challenges, then hiring home care providers is also an excellent idea. They can help to fill in care gaps and can keep you informed about things you need to know sooner rather than later.
Establish a Communication Plan
It’s also important for you and your team, particularly you and your senior, to have a communication plan to follow. What that does for you is allows you to stay in touch but also to know right away when there are problems that you need to solve. There’s a lot that you can do for your senior, particularly when you’ve got home care providers on your team, but you have to know that there’s an issue.
Schedule Visits, if You Can
Even with extra help, you and your senior will benefit from you being able to visit whenever possible. That’s not always easy to do, especially if you live completely across the country. But visiting your senior in person enables you to experience what’s going on with her without other perceptions filtering what information you’re getting.
It’s entirely possible to successfully be a long-distance caregiver for your elderly family member. It also requires a lot of communication and you may have to rely on outside help more than you or your senior ever thought you would.