Although living far away from your elderly loved one and their caregiver means you can't just stop by and do a load of laundry or pick up a medication refill, it doesn't mean you aren't able to provide support. Consider the following ways in which you can provide long-distance support for your loved one and their caregiver.
Obviously visiting is beneficial. When you can, head to town and give the caregiver a break. They probably have a family of their own and would welcome the opportunity to spend time with them. Take over the responsibilities for a few days and allow them to rest and recover so they don't get burned out. Your elderly loved one will also enjoy seeing you.
Even when you aren't able to be in town be sure to be in communication. Provide a listening ear for the caregiver so they can express any issues they are facing with your loved one. Offer to help where you can. Also communicate with your loved one to see if they are happy with their caregiver and the services they are getting.
At Caring Senior Service, we provide an easy way for caregivers, clients, and long-distance family members to stay up do date on care through our proprietary software, Tendio.
Create a Contact List
Create a contact list for your loved one. Include the addresses and phone numbers for the following people:
Provide this contact list to the caregiver so they know who they can reach out to for help. Suggest they contact people on this list if a loved one needs assistance outside of the caregiver's work hours or if there is an emergency.
Collect Medical Information
Offer to be the person responsible for maintaining medical information. Collect the following information and keep it updated. Make sure the primary caregiver has a copy in case the information is needed.
List of health insurance policies and their policy numbers.
List of utility company names and their phone numbers.
List of current doctors and phone numbers.
List of all current medications.
Name and phone number of the pharmacy.
Financial information including assets, debts, bank accounts, credit cards, and life insurance policy information.
Location of important documents such as the birth certificate, social security number, deed to the home, Will, power of attorney, etc.
Being far away from a loved one requiring care doesn't mean you can't provide help to the caregiver. For more ideas on how you can support your loved one's caregiver, check out our caregiver toolkit.