We all know that ageing is inevitable. It’s part of life, but it can be stressful and difficult for many – both those who are going through it and the people in their lives who are trying to support them. Advanced Home Care Solutions is a community care and healthcare staffing agency committed to the health and wellness of an aging population. Today we’re going to look at some of the issues involved in caring for aging loved ones, how that dynamic can be exacerbated when it’s a long-distance relationship, and ways that we can meet these challenges.
Even under the best of circumstances, caregiving is an overwhelming task. And if you’re far away from the loved one that you’re trying to care for, it adds immense weight to an already heavy load. If this describes your circumstances, just know that you’re not alone: about 11% of caregivers live more than an hour away from their loved ones. And doing our “best” frequently feels like “not enough” – caregiver guilt can be a difficult by-product of this situation. It’s important to be kind to yourself, and practice self-care as a strategy to ensure your own survival and ability to operate effectively.
When it comes to some of the practical aspects of dealing with long-distance caregiving, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate some of the associated difficulties, including:
- If there are siblings involved, include them in the caregiving process. This might require a family meeting or an “official” talk, but communication, sharing of concerns, and assigning responsibilities are key in making sure that your loved one is properly cared for.
- Keeping in touch with your loved one is critically important – both for you and for them. Feeling connected can be a great mental health tool. Perhaps you will schedule regular phone calls that they can count on and look forward to. Frequent short conversations can be more impactful than occasional long telephone calls and will help to give you a sense of how they’re doing, and whether there have been any changes in their condition. And while the telephone is perhaps the most familiar and accessible communication tool, video chats and handwritten notes can also help to alleviate loneliness and feelings of isolation.
- Of course, nothing can replace the in-person visit, and some pre-planning can help to make the most of it. Set goals for what you want to achieve during the visit and your schedule might include your loved one and their wishes, other family members, and even a review of available community resources and services while you’re there.
- If there are sensitive topics that need to be discussed during your visit, give your family some prior notice, and choose a time and place that will be conducive to a private conversation. And while you’re spending as much time as possible with your loved one – try and make time for fun. Doing something that everyone enjoys will create a positive, stress-free environment and lasting memories.
Ultimately, community care resources can be an excellent option to support you, your ageing parent, and your entire family on this journey. Whether your needs are for personalized in-home care, or to supplement the residential care that your loved one is currently receiving, Advanced Home Care Solutions can be your bridge and compassionate ally. We have experienced, and carefully vetted teams that include accredited LPNs, RNs, and Care Aides, and can customize a care plan that will seamlessly fill in the gaps that result from long-distance relationships.
If you are interested in learning more about accessing resources to support your loved one, reach out to Advanced Home Care Solutions.