There are a lot of reasons why you may suddenly find yourself being a long-distance caregiver. Especially if that situation is a temporary one, you need to learn some tricks for coping.
Figure out What Your Most Important Priorities Are for Now
When you’re having to change your own course midstream it’s tough to know what’s important and what can wait. Slow down for a minute and figure out what your most important priorities are for this particular time. This might mean that some things that aren’t as important take a back seat for now. That’s sometimes how caregiving and life go.
Get Familiar with Your Senior’s Health Needs
Make sure that if you aren’t already, you know as much as you can about your senior’s health needs. It’s one thing to be right there with her and be able to deal with things as they come up. But when you have to be far away, whether that’s for a few days or for a few weeks, that can seriously change your perspective. Get as much information as you can, because it will help.
Look for Local Resources that Can Help
There are agencies that assist caregivers and the elderly that are local to your senior. They may be able to offer help with things like volunteer yard work, meal delivery, and more. Something else to consider is bringing in home care providers while you’re operating long-distance. They can offer hands-on help while you’re gone and they can give you an accurate read on what’s going on with your senior.
Visit as Often as You Can
If it’s possible at all, visit. This can help you and your senior to feel a lot more comfortable with you being away for extended periods of time. You may not be able to do this and that’s perfectly fine. But if it is in your capability to visit, try to make that happen.
Consider Finding Emotional Support for Yourself
This is likely to be a tough time for you as well as for your senior. Once you’ve done everything you can to make sure she’s supported, put some support in place for yourself. Joining online or even in-person caregiver support groups can give you a way to cope with your new caregiving situation.
Your situation may go back to your version of normal fairly quickly, but odds are you’ll learn a lot from your time as a long-distance caregiver. You can apply that knowledge to future situations.