Long-Distance Caregiving: When is it Too Much to Handle?

As lifespans are increasing and the number of seniors is growing in America, we are seeing the children who are acting as caregivers being torn between two places:  where the caregiver lives and where the senior lives.
While long-distance care-giving can work for a time with regular visits, it often breaks down when emergencies happen.  What if the senior injures himself?  What if he or she falls and can’t get up?
The worries never stop for a long-distance caregiver.  And often the caregiver must then make a difficult choice:  Should you move closer to your elderly loved one or should you find a care-giving service to take care of them for you. Here at Freedom Home Care, we offer certified and highly trained caregivers who are able to handle any situation while ensuring each patient is as comfortable as possible.
If you are a caregiver for an elderly loved one and live farther away than you’d like, there are a few ways to lessen the stress without moving.
1. Skype. 
While daily phone calls can be affective to ask questions and hear the senior’s voice to evaluate for problems, often there is the missing element of being able to see them.  However, with Skype, you can actually see how they are doing every day.  Skype is a free online video conferencing tool that can be set up on the caregiver’s and senior’s computers.
Then, the senior can show the caregiver the wound he is concerned about.  Or the caregiver can see the look in the senior’s eyes that tell worlds more than the actual words being said.
2. Hire a caregiver. 
Nothing is better than someone actually being in the same room as the senior you love and care about. They are able to evaluate how he or she is doing and help with anything that is needed.  Our Highland Park Home Care Agency provides professional caregivers who are trained to not only deliver excellent care, but to be aware of any potential signs of medical danger.  It’s a huge relief to many long-distance caregivers to know that someone is there to help the senior should a problem come up.
3. Virtual documents. 
It’s incredibly frustrating when an emergency happens and the senior’s wishes cannot be communicated because the documents are tucked away in the senior’s town when the caregiver is hundreds of miles away.  Now, technology allows us to take those documents everywhere.  With a service such as Dropbox or Google Docs, documents can be scanned and put in a virtual “cloud” where they can be accessed from anywhere.  If you have the senior’s medical files in the cloud and an emergency happens, you can easily email the relevant files or give a relative who lives close to the senior access to the files.  Then everyone will be in the loop and your senior will be safer.
While a long-distance caregiver relationship isn’t ideal, it can be done with planning.  If you are in this position now or are considering it in the near future, contact Freedom Home Care to learn more about our expert caregiver options.  A little help from our trustworthy and caring caregivers can relieve a lot of your stress.