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long-distance caregiver

How to be the Best Long-Distance Caregiver

Caring for loved ones from far away isn’t always an easy task. Many times, they need stay-at-home care that can’t be given from miles away. Sometimes you can feel helpless not being able to provide personal home care for those in your life who need it the most. Know that these feelings are valid, and you are not alone. In fact, there are about 7 million Americans providing long-distance home care to their loved ones. Like you, they are in charge of arranging doctor appointments, coordinating all the healthcare and insurance, working full time and taking care of their own families.

Although hiring a caregiver can help lighten the load and provide much-needed assistance at your loved one’s home, negative thoughts and feelings of guilt over not being there yourself can creep in from time to time. But remember –  you are enough. Your sacrifices help make a positive impact on the lives of your loved ones.

Whenever you’re feeling doubt about the impact you’re making on your loved one’s home care, remember these tips to make the situation as a long-distance caregiver a little easier:

  1. Keep in daily contact. For the technologically savvy, there are multiple ways to be seen and heard (facetime, Zoom, etc). Be there as a sounding board, so your loved ones can talk about their feelings. You’ll feel more emotionally attached knowing what’s going on.
  2. Visit as often as you can. It may not be easy, but any chance you can find to visit will create better memories for everyone.
  3. Stay in touch with their physicians. If possible, find a physician or dentist who can come to them.
  4. Hire a caregiver to be your eyes and ears. Caregivers take care of all the important duties at home including cooking, cleaning, driving to appointments, etc. They can be a lifeline to your loved one when you need it the most. FirstLight at-home caregivers do more by building meaningful relationships.
  5. Establish an emergency system. Always have a suitcase packed and line of communication to those in contact with your loved one, including a physician or caregiver.
  6. Call in hospice. Hospice doesn’t mean it’s the end. Hospice caregivers provide additional home care for your loved one, including medications and providing support at a time when you need it most.

Although being a long-distance caregiver can be exhausting at times, you have a community of support with FirstLight that can help you realize what’s most important: you’re doing a great job. If you do find yourself overwhelmed or needing help, we’ll be there to take care of you and your loved one.

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