Tips for Long Distance Caregivers

Caring for an aging loved one who suffers from either mental decline or physical limitations is burdensome. Not because you don’t want to provide the care, but because coordinating the necessary care and dealing with feelings of worry and guilt can take its toll. Feelings of inadequacy arise when, as a caregiver, you suddenly realize that you can’t do it all. This is particularly scary if you are a long-distance caregiver. If you are unable to be in the same area as the loved one who is in need of direct care, determining oversight of their care can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you make your way through the process of developing a long-term care plan.

  1. Get a geriatric care assessment. A care manager will conduct a comprehensive in-person care management assessment. The interview questions will cover medical history, current health and living situation, diet, daily activities, cognitive (memory and thinking skills), finances, insurance and more. Interviews are done with elders and their families (if possible). For family members that live out of town, telephone interviews are conducted. A geriatric care manager can then make recommendations, utilizing area resources for the care of your loved one.
  2. Hire a personal care assistant. If a personal care assistant is what is needed and desired by all involved, a geriatric care manager can refer you to area agencies that can best meet your needs. At Advocare in particular, we provide a free referral service, ensuring that you receive the best caregivers that a particular agency has to offer. Services through a home care agency range from companionship, shopping and light housekeeping all the way to full time physical care.
  3. Get to know your aging parents neighbors if you do not already. Find out what kind of check-in services might be available as well with local community groups, or if you family member is a part of a particular church. Social interaction is a proven way to keep the mind sharp, and depression at bay.
  4. With the help of your geriatric care manager, make sure that all financials are in order, including advance care directives and living wills. Be aware of where all paperwork is located, and where all monies are going to also ensure that your loved one does not become a statistic of an elderly financial scam.

In order to get the basic overview of all available benefits, particularly in an area that you do not live or are unfamiliar with, the professional experience that a geriatric care manager can provide will prove invaluable. Having eyes and ears in the mix for you brings the peace of mind that long-distance caregivers often have a hard time finding.

To learn about using our free Care Advisor service for senior home care, and access our Provider Network of licensed, insured agencies, visit us at Advocare. No fee or contract is necessary to use the services of our Care Advisor. A Certified Senior Advisor will discuss your care needs, develop a profile of the best candidate, and schedule interviews with potential caregivers from multiple agencies. Our unique model allows the agencies to compete for your business and helps you choose the best caregiver for the best price.

We help families in South Florida with care management in the Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach and Palm Beach areas.

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