In today's fast-paced world, there is a growing trend of family members living in different cities, or even countries. This means dealing with aging family members from far away, which involves much traveling, and fear of that dreaded 'middle of the night' phone call. The following are some ideas from Caroline Tapp-McDougall's book The Complete Canadian Eldercare Guide, about how you can manage long distance caregiving:
Focus on the practical tasks such as gathering information about things like medial records, essential documents, house keys and home security. Tapp-McDougall encourages people to get a journal specifically for keeping elder's records, scheduled appointments, important phones numbers, etc.
Know the details of the elder's care plan and discuss how family and friends are going to work together on meeting the identified needs
Get to know your elder's neighbors, friends, and religious community (if they have one) to ensure that your loved one will not be alone. Involving family, professionals, and neighborhood contacts in the care team will lighten the load for you
Self-care is essential in dealing with any feelings of guilt or frustration
When visits are prohibitive, there is always a phone call
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