The Long-Distance Caregiver


Being a primary caregiver for someone you love is a difficult and complicated job in the best of circumstances.  You probably have to juggle personal needs, a job, and family obligations with the needs of your loved one.  It gets so much more complicated and stressful if your loved one lives any distance from you.  Lets face it, in today’s world and with today’s economy our families are more than likely geographically spread out.

     The thing to remember first and foremost is that it does take a village.  Be realistic and don’t presume you can do everything by yourself.  If you have siblings or other close family members who can help, don’t fail to use their aid and personal input. Be honest and direct with them and have them share some of the responsibilities based on their geography, interests, and abilities. Arrange to communicate with them on a regular basis so everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done and who’s doing it.  If you have a professional caregiver coming into the home be sure you meet them face to face. Connecting a face to the caregiver’s name helps build a relationship with them.

     Communication is very important.  If you can’t be contacted, you won’t know what’s going on.  This means staying in touch not only with those doing the hands on care but also includes your loved one’s close friends and neighbors.  Check in with them now and then to get their view of how your loved one is getting along. A simple phone call or an e-mail will keep you in the loop.

     Familiarize yourself with what local resources are available. Do any of the local churches or neighborhood groups provide meal delivery? Is local transportation available?  Are there any volunteer groups that provide companionship?  Are there any home care services in the area who can be utilized to provide personal care and medication reminders?  Would getting a personal alarm system ease your fears about your loved one falling or having an accident?

     Be sure to gather important information, keep it handy and make sure it’s readily available to those who are dealing directly with your loved one. This includes having a list of physicians, pharmacies, medications, and important financial and legal documents.

This will help deal with emergencies when they arise. If your loved one is having difficulty handling finances, their mail, or medications, be sure to coordinate these tasks with another responsible adult and stay connected with them.

    Use common sense in dealing with the responsibilities of caregiving and above all don’t give in to feelings of guilt when dealing with the challenges from a distance. Concentrate on staying connected to your loved one and continue to nourish your relationship with them.  After all, isn’t that what life is really about?  What has helped you care for a loved one from a distance? Share below and visit us at



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Filed under Caregiver, companionship, Farmington Hills, Home Care, Personal care, Senior Care, Trillium HomeCare, Uncategorized

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