Long Distance Caregiving

Today, more and more of us are faced with caring for a loved one that lives an hour or more away.  According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, more than five million U.S. residents are long-distance caregivers, and this number will continue to grow.

For many families, finding a balance for the patient, day-to-day caregiver, and the long-distance caregiver is a struggle, to say the least. Many long-distance caregivers feel frazzled, frustrated, and guilty for not being able to be “hands-on.”  Often times, this also leads to frustration and resentment – even health impacts – on the part of the person providing the day-to-day care.

Finding ways to communicate, share information, and remain involved in caregiving decisions is key, and there are a number of ways to do this.  For some, phone calls and occasional visits are enough.  For others, frequent traveling to doctor’s appointments and scheduled treatments are a way of life.  Still others are utilizing technology to help them stay in the loop, which has been made even easier with web-based organizers like Caregiver’s Touch.

Beyond solutions like Caregiver’s Touch, the National Institute on Aging’s publication So Far Away – Twenty Questions for Long-Distance Caregivers (available online and in printed form) is full of tips to help long-distance caregivers remain involved in their loved one’s care, including:

• Reaching out to your loved one’s neighbor’s, friends, and doctors
• Things to check for when you visit – food in the house, safety hazards, mood, driving skills, etc.
• How to decide who does what by recognizing strengths and limitations

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you cannot care for your loved one if you are not properly caring for yourself.  Long-distance caregivers need support as well.  Know when it is OK not to visit.  Take advantage of support systems and resources available to you.  And, keep the lines of communication open between you, your loved one, and the people providing hands on care.

Carrie Hastriter is a co-founder of Caregiver’s Touch, a web-based organizational tool that empowers caregivers by capturing all of a loved one’s information in one place.  This comprehensive solution enhances collaboration among family members and other caregivers with the ability to easily share information via the secure Caregiver’s Touch website.  Downloading information using the Caregiver’s Touch smartphone application provides the additional convenience of accessing critical information wherever one is, whenever it is needed.

Posted: 3/3/2011 6:00:00 AM by Cathy Whitlock

Browse current and archived blog articles written by caregivers, for caregivers.

May 2015
Part 2: Tips for Parkinson's Caregivers to help improve quality of life

April 2015
Tips for Parkinson's Caregivers to help improve quality of life.

December 2014
Keeping Watch

November 2014
Resources for People Who Care for Someone with Parkinson’s

September 2014
I Don't Like Parkinson's, but I Love the People in My Life

August 2014
Baby, oh Baby?

July 2014
When the Caregiver Takes a Break

May 2014
Arriving at Thriving

March 2014
Adult Swim

February 2014
5 Disability Insurance Issues Worth Talking About

December 2013
DBS: How it changed darkness into light

November 2013
Family Caregivers Deserve Special Recognition

September 2013
Saving $49,500 for a Good Night’s Sleep

August 2013
Growing Up with Parkinson’s

July 2013

June 2013
I Wish I May, I Wish I Might

April 2013
5 Grab-and-Go Healthy Snacks for Parkinson's Caregivers

March 2013
5 Caregiving Tips for Lewy Body Dementia

January 2013
Lewy What?

November 2012
How to Support a Caregiving Spouse: Three Tips from My Other Caregiving Half

October 2012
Bobcats and Turtles

August 2012
Build a Ramp

July 2012
A Bathroom That Works

June 2012
Lessons in Care, Lessons in Time

May 2012
Welcome to CareZone

April 2012
Dignity and Empathy in Caregiving

March 2012
Notes from "Movers & Shakers with Parkinson": How You See Your Changing Roles

February 2012
PD Inpatient "Care": Inept, Indifferent, Incompetent, Insufficient, Injurious

January 2012
Caregiver Isolation as Cultural Disease

November 2011
How to Take Care of the Caregiver

September 2011
The Disregarded Costs of Agency Care

August 2011
7 Tips for Hiring Good Caregivers

July 2011
Parkinson's and Your Voice: The Essence of You

June 2011
7 Ways a Care Recipient Can Help Alleviate Caregiver Burnout

May 2011
Lessons Learned About Caregiving for a Person with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease

April 2011
Communicating With Your Partner When Speech and Voice Are Declining

March 2011
Long Distance Caregiving

February 2011
Financial Planning Webinar for Caregivers

January 2011
Caregiving Tool: A Home Healthcare Management System

December 2010
Caregiver Sanity: Three Things I Try to Remember

November 2010
Appreciating Family Caregivers

May 2010
Good Body Mechanics for Caregivers by Kevin Lockette, PT

March 2010
Taking the First Step in Your Own Care by Carol Levine

Currently: 0 (0 ratings)


Each month, we will feature a new column by caregivers on topic important for caregivers of people with Parkinson's disease. Read the latest column now.

Subscribe to this blog