If you have a friend or family member in need of a caregiver, you may want to help as much as possible. Sometimes, you cannot drop your other obligations to move closer to the loved one, so you may have to become a long-distance caregiver.
According to the National Institute on Aging, a long-distance caregiver is a person who lives an hour or more away from the person in need of help. Becoming a long-distance caregiver does not make you less of a caregiver. You still can have specific obligations but also limitations.
What does a long-distance caregiver do?
Long-distance caregivers have various roles. Your specific obligations depend on your loved one and the caregiving tasks you choose. When it comes to assistance, you may be able to help with bills and finances. If an emergency occurs, you may be in charge of paperwork and plans. If your loved one has a primary caregiver, you can be there to provide respite on occasion or to be a supportive shoulder to lean on when the caregiver needs it. You may also be responsible for arranging care for the older adult to ensure he or she has the best possible care.
How can long-distance caregivers help their loved ones the most?
To start as a long-distance caregiver, you should speak with other caregivers on how they best help their care recipients. You may want to arrange to visit as often as possible so you can check on the living arrangements and ensure that the primary caregiver is living up to his or her duties. If this is your first time as a caregiver, you may look for training opportunities.
When it comes to your aging loved one, ensure you spend as much time as possible making the most out of your time.