Being a caregiver is hard enough, but being a long distance caregiver can sometimes leave people feeling like they are disconnected and with feelings of guilt and helplessness.
There are some things that you can do to be proactive with your loved one’s care. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Quick tips and resources
- Identify resources and use them. Learn about what is available in your community by contacting the Alzheimer’s Association at 1.800.272.3900 or using our online Community Resource Finder. You can also use Alzheimer’s Navigator, our free online tool that helps evaluate your needs, identify action steps and connect with local programs and services.
- Reassess care needs during each visit. Dementia is a progressive disease, and care will need to be adjusted over time. While someone in early-stage Alzheimer’s may live independently, by the middle stage, 24-hour supervision will be required. Each time you visit, assess the situation to make sure care needs are being met.
- Keep communication going.
As a long-distance caregiver, you may coordinate many moving parts. Whether it is with family, neighbors or home health aides, set aside time to regularly discuss the needs of the person with dementia. If the person with dementia lives at a residential care facility, set up a regular time with the managing nurse or physician to get updates, and maintain ongoing communication with care staff and friends who visit regularly.
- Gather pertinent information and keep it handy.
Make sure you have contact information for physicians, pharmacies, care providers and neighbors, as well as important financial and legal documents easily accessible in case they are unexpectedly needed.
- Be kind to yourself.
Living out-of-town does not mean you aren’t involved or that you don’t care. Get support by connecting with others who are long-distance caregivers through our online community.