Overseeing the care of an aging relative from a distance is stressful. And since so many families live miles apart, the concerns of a parent's safety, health, and nutrition is hard to coordinate and manage when a distance is a significant factor.
The National Alliance for Caregiving estimates 44 million Americans care for an older parent, and almost 20% of them live at least one hour away from the parent. And close to 33% provide care at a distance for someone living with a form of dementia. It's hard to believe, but 25% of the long distance family members say they are the main person overseeing a relative's care.
AARP relates to long-distance caregiving as the new standard for family members. Families first split apart when kids move to another city to college and never return. After the young adult graduates, they take jobs in far off places and sometimes out-of-state.
In the report by MetLife, even the adults over 65 are mobile today. Almost sixty-five percent have moved to other states in the last ten years. And when they need help with the activities of daily living tasks, it's up to the child living away to coordinate the care.
Challenges of Long-Distance Caregiving
The challenges are overwhelming like finding local resources to help the parent out. Other hardships:
Things To Do
Organize the parent's paperwork - Gather a loved one's personal, health, financial, and legal records. It's easier to put in file and store in one place. Do it before an emergency occurs and when you're under-the-gun.
Organize the network of care - Put together a list of contacts, phone numbers, and addresses:
The best choices to connect are via a phone call, a text, Skype, and Facebook.
Get prepared before an emergency happens. Put a plan together for those who want to help. Set aside extra money in case you need to travel. Learn more about the Family Medical and Leave Act from the HR department.
This post was first seen on SeniorCare.com