Long-Distance Caregiving

Long-Distance Caregiving

Just because you’re not physically present to provide care for someone such as a parent who needs help managing a health condition and/or day-to-day activities, doesn’t make you any less of a caregiver than someone who is.

Some people have the mistaken impression that being physically removed from the situation means that long-distance caregivers “have it easy” ...

Some people have the mistaken impression that being physically removed from the situation means that long-distance caregivers “have it easy” or that they’re not “pulling their weight” in terms of sharing the responsibilities. In fact, long-distance caregivers also face challenges and can be just as involved as primary caregivers.

If you’re a long-distance caregiver, here are some tips to help you stay involved and avoid the all-too-common guilt that accompanies long-distance caregiving.

Regularly check-in on the person’s wellbeing

Ask the people who are in regular contact with the person in need of care to alert you of any concerns they may have about the person’s wellbeing. Remember to ask permission from the person in your care if this is okay to do before proceeding. It’s important to show the person in your care that you respect their opinion in matters that concern them.

Stay in touch via phone, e-mail, video calls, and visits

Stay in touch with the person you’re taking care of via phone or e-mail and try to visit as often as possible. The time you spend communicating with the person you’re taking care of provides them with emotional support and helps relieve the primary caregiver of some responsibility.

Take responsibility for caregiving tasks that you can do remotely

Offer to take on the responsibility of arranging for respite services, hiring home health care and nursing staff, paying bills, and updating family and friends. All of these tasks can be done online and will give the primary caregiver some much-needed time away from the responsibilities of caregiving to re-charge their batteries, take care of personal matters, or just relax.

Manage your care recipient’s records

As a long-distance caregiver, you can volunteer to keep track of the care recipient’s personal, health, financial, and legal records. This task involves getting permission from the person in your care to give you access to their records and may involve getting a Power of Attorney or becoming a Substitute Decision Maker. If you’re not the primary caregiver, most of this information may have already been gathered, so talk to them prior to starting this project. They may be able to tell you what information is still missing or point you in the right direction to find what you’re looking for. As the person overseeing these records, it’s your responsibility to make sure that all financial matters including paying off bills and debts are taken care of in a timely manner. Whether you hold a formal Power of Attorney or are taking care of financial matters on an informal basis, it is important to keep accurate accounting records of your activities, including keeping receipts for all expenditures and bills paid.

Work closely with the primary caregiver.

Your brother or sister, for example, may be the primary caregiver. It is advisable to keep the communication between you and the primary caregiver open and consult with them about how you can be most helpful. This can avoid tension and conflict between siblings or between a primary caregiver and a long-distance caregiver. It is best for everyone if you work together as a team.

If you’re the primary caregiver, albeit a remote one, staying in contact with the person in your care and the other caregivers ensures that you’re in the loop on matters pertaining to their physical and mental wellbeing, finances, and legal issues. This can help you mitigate any unforeseen emergencies.

At Elizz, we provide caregiver support for you and home care services for those who depend on you. Elizz is a Canadian company powered by Saint Elizabeth, a national not-for-profit health care organization that has been caring for Canadians since 1908.

 

Comments

Close

Order a Service

()-
(UTC - 05:00)
Close

Want to order service?

 

Or drop us your email address, and we'll get back to you:


 
Close

Share Your Caregiver Story

We review and post new submissions weekly and we are always looking for new “Faces of Caregiving”.

Yes, you may post my submission and contact me.
Close

Have a Caregiving Question?

Submit your caregiving question to our experts. Our experts review the questions we receive regularly, and we share our responses to the questions that we think are most relevant to the whole community.

Yes, you may post my submission and contact me.
Close

Contact us to discuss your results

 

Have a question?
Chat live with a member of our care solutions team Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm!

Live Chat
 
 

Or drop us your email address, and we'll get back to you: