Owners' Blog

4 Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

A long-distance caregiver is someone who doesn’t live close enough to the person they are caring for to visit on a regular basis. They may provide emotional support, make appointments, or coordinate services such as housecleaning and in-home care. Long-distance caregivers may not be primary caregivers, but they are still an important part of the caregiving team. If you are a long-distance caregiver, you may wonder what you can do to be more helpful. Here are four ways you can be an even better long-distance caregiver.

#1 Create and Maintain a Contact List

Depending on the level of care your parent needs, the list of people involved could be quite lengthy. Creating a list of names, roles, and phone numbers for everyone involved. The list should include family members, doctors, in-home care providers, housekeepers, and anyone else who provides care services. It may also be helpful to include notes about when each person should be called. You can also compile a list of friends and family members who can be called on for help if an emergency should arise. Make sure that someone who lives close by has a key to your parent’s house.

#2 Organize Paperwork

Your parent may need to give over the keeping of much of the paperwork that life requires. There are insurance forms, financial documents, legal records, and health information. Getting those together and making sure everything is in order can be a great help to your parent and to your family members. Knowing that everything is being taken care of will help put your parent’s mind at ease and will make other aspects of caregiving easier for family members.

#3 Prepare for Productive Visits

By making plans ahead of time, you can make visits to your parent more productive. Before you visit, talk to other family caregivers about what needs to be done while you are there. Perhaps there are some things that have fallen to the wayside because of a lack of time that you can help catch up on. For example, make time to go through your parent’s mail to ensure nothing important has been missed. Find out if there are things your parent needs that you can purchase before you come.

#4 Find Out About Local Services

Most communities have services in place to assist senior citizens. A good place to start is the local senior center, which may have information about meal delivery services and lists of volunteers who can drive your parent to appointments or visit with your parent while other caregivers are away. If your parent is not already receiving in-home care services, you may wish to look into hiring a caregiver through an agency to help take on some of the responsibilities. An in-home care provider can assist with things like light housecleaning, reminding your parent to take medications, helping your parent with dressing and bathing, and preparing meals. If your parent already receives in-home care, take time to get to know the caregivers so that you are comfortable talking to them about your parent’s care and so they know they can call you with questions or concerns.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Lawrenceville, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.