November 2016

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long distance caregiving

It can be a stressful time if a loved senior relative needs constant medical care because of the advances of old age. However, it can cause even more anxiety if you live a long distance from them. Long-distance caring has its challenges for both you and the person requiring care. How can you meet those challenges and continue to care for someone that doesn't live close by?

Here are 4 practical tips for making sure an elderly relative is cared for when you can't be there.

4 Tips for Long-distance Caregiving

First of all, it has to be said that there is no "one-fits-all" solution to long-distance caregiving. Very often, practical matters have to be worked out between everyone involved. Here are a few helpful tips that can make long-distance caregiving much easier.

1. Make regular phone calls

Modern technology has made it easier than ever to keep in touch with loved ones. So, it's important to call regularly to see how your loved one is keeping. However, it's best not to fall into a pattern of calling at the same time every week. You should use occasions when you call to tactfully evaluate the situation. For example, try calling at mealtimes to make sure that your elderly relative is eating. Ask about specific upcoming appointments and then after, ask specific questions about the appointment.

2. Pay an unexpected visit

There can be nothing that can uplift the spirits of someone being cared for than a surprise visit from a family member. If you live a far away, it may not always be possible to arrange to visit personally. But, you could arrange for a trusted friend to "drop in" with a gift or a meal. They can use the time to see how things are and if there is any extra assistance needed.

3. Use technology

As already mentioned, it is now easier than ever to keep in touch. Maybe you or a friend can help the elderly relative learn the basics of using a tablet computer to call through Skype. Research into seniors and technology has found that many are able and willing to use tablets because they are easy to use.

4. Use professional services

If you feel that extra help and assistance needed, then you may want to get in touch with professionals who can evaluate the situation and offer the best advice. This can give you peace of mind knowing that your senior relative is well-cared for and all his or her needs can be addressed.

Even though caring over a long distance for a loved elderly relative has its challenges, there is much that you can do to help your relative feel cared for and loved.

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