FREE TRAINING: How To Care For A Loved One With Dementia
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Long Distance Caregiving

Uncategorized Jul 28, 2019

Welcome back Careblazers!


Today I want to talk to Careblazers who are not living near their loved one with dementia. It is really easy for Careblazers to feel like they can't do much when they are living far away but I want to share ideas that you can do to help your LOWD and to help anyone who is caring for your LOWD who lives close. I hope this is helpful. 


If you would rather watch my video on this topic, click here


#1- Do Not Feel Guilty

Many times when a loved one develops dementia and lives out of state, it’s easy to feel guilty. You may feel like you should be there, like you can’t do all that you want to do. However, guilt has never ever helped any situation, it just doesn’t. There are many different reasons you may not be able to live with or near your LOWD and that is ok. You don't have to justify it to anybody. Everyone's situation is different. That is life. Don't feel guilty. 


#2- Assist with Hands Off Tasks

There are a lot of tasks that do not require hands on care or don't require someone to be there in the thick of things. If there is a primary caregiver with your loved one, talk to them about what would be most helpful. Let them know you want to help with the things you can do from afar. Some ideas include:  

-Ordering/refilling medications (calling into the pharmacy)

-Helping to manage finances

-Making necessary phone calls

-Grocery shopping (ordering and scheduling delivery online)

-Ordering snow shoveling service or lawn service

-Helping to research alternate living arrangements (if needed)


#3 “Attend” Appointments via Phone or Video Technology

As a provider in a geriatric clinic, it’s not totally out of the ordinary to have family from afar call in to participate in important appointments. 


#4 Stay connected

Call, text, email, whatever type of communication your loved one can do. If and when you visit plan for time taken to run errands, arrange appointments, and time just to visit and enjoy company in the middle of all the things you will do to help. Know that it will likely be a mix of some work and nice visiting but be sure to make sure you spend some time just visiting. If there is a primary caregiver there, encourage them to take some time off away while you cover the care for a day. Not only is it good bonding time but it also helps give you an idea of what the primary caregiver is doing on a regular basis. 


#5- Support the Primary Caregiver

This is important. Don’t underestimate what a help it can be to be a lending ear, a virtual shoulder to lean on from someone who can empathize, support and not judge or constantly question what they are doing. This is something that they are probably getting a lot of from others. If you are a primary caregiver of your LOWD then you probably know what I’m talking about. There are almost always people who are well-intended (usually) giving you advice or questioning your decisions even though they aren’t in the thick of the day to day things. That’s not so helpful. If you are long distance caregiver and you have a relationship with the primary caregiver support them. Be there for them. I’ve seen dementia tear apart too many families, don’t let that happen to yours as well. 


Careblazer, I hope this helps you. Please know that no matter where you live you can be helpful to your loved one in your own special way. There is no competition of better caregivers, better children, better spouse. Everyone is struggling in their own way. Support one another, be there for one another, and be kind to yourself. There is no need to feel guilty - it never helps anything. 


I’ll be back next week!


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