While caregiving from far away is becoming far more common, and certainly becoming more possible with advances in technology, there are still some components that people need to understand when taking on the responsibility that comes with caregiver duties.
With younger people having to move with their jobs and elderly relatives being left behind, long distance care is becoming a stunning reality. By the most standard definitions, it entails helping your loved one sort medical bills, being there for long weekends if necessary, or helping another caregiver, such as a sibling, when needed. There are four very important things to know for anyone who finds caregiving from far away a reality.
Understand what is needed
Anyone who lives over an hour away from the person requiring care is considered a long distance caregiver. In this role, you will find yourself making arrangements for grocery deliveries, becoming a proxy for medical care, making arrangements for trips to the doctor and making many phone calls to check in with the elderly person for which you care. Eventually, you may be making arrangements for a nursing home or long-term care facility for the person.
Understand how to help
Many people don't feel they can do much from far away, but if another relative who lives close to the elderly, such as a sibling, is caring for an elderly parent, emotional support can go a long way. Taking a long weekend to relieve the other relative can also be good for everyone involved. You can help out financially as well, especially if the closer relative decides it is time for professional or long-term care. You could start keeping family and friends updated on the situation to take some of the pressure off the person doing the primary care taking.
Understand the importance of communication
Have an honest conversation with family members to find out who can take care of which issues, and do not be afraid to ask for help. If your brother doesn't feel comfortable taking your grandmother to the doctor, find out who else can help. Get information regarding different types of geriatric services and what places in the area will help out. Search for a geriatric care manager who can help your family coordinate all the responsibilities. Finally, understand your own limitations and what you can handle. No one benefits if one person overdoes it.
Understand your loved one's health story
If you've read any of our other posts on the blog, you already have an understanding of just how important it is to have access to your loved one's complete health story. Having the complete medical history, and being able to quickly and easily share it with the multiple providers that tend to need access to this information is so important to receiving great care. CareSync, both our products and our services, have been designed to help patients and caregivers manage and share the patient's health story.
Even if you're thousands of miles away, you can help your loved one get the most out of their medical appointments:
- CareSync Plus services for gathering and transcribing all of your loved one's medical records from all of their providers, making it easy for you to see the 360 degree view of their health.
- Meaningful and easily shareable Care Reports™ to provide doctors with the important information they need to help treat your loved one. These reports can be automated to be sent directly to the healthcare provider before the visit. How cool is that?
- Care Manager tools that include collaborative to do lists, notifications and alerts for upcoming appointments and due dates.
- Voice recorder to document the doctor's instructions - this is HUGE when you're far away, HUGE...head exactly what the provider said to be able to help your loved one.
- Services to help you and your loved one manage healthcare before, during, and after the appointment.
CareSync can lighten your caregiving burden by doing the administrative work for you. Sign up today, for just $99, and let our trained team collect and transcribe all of your loved one's records from all of their providers, so your life becomes exponentially more organized in your role as a caregiver.