In the United States, 6.9 million Americans are struggling to care for a loved one who lives in another city. Long-distance caregiving presents a unique set of challenges, many of which cause incredible amounts of stress and unexpected feelings of despair for the caregiver. Although every family is different, research shows the following to be the five main challenges long-distance family caregivers face.
1. Knowing When You’re Needed…and When You’re Not
Although it may be tempting to jump in the car (or on a plane) every time your parent or elderly loved one brings up a problem or complaint, it’s hardly reasonable. Your own perception of the problem – not to mention fear – often clouds the issue and makes it seem more detrimental than it really is. Ask yourself:
• Is my parent’s health at stake?
• Can the issue be resolved with a phone call?
• Will traveling to your parent’s home provide a long-term solution or just temporary comfort?
2. Fighting Feelings of Guilt
Whatever the circumstances keeping you apart from your loved one, you likely feel resentment and guilt. While these emotions are natural, they are unproductive and self-destructive. Keeping in touch with your loved one on a regular basis is a vital way to combat these feelings. Having a trustworthy caregiver is also imperative. Using a homecare agency that offers ClearCare home care software is the best way to monitor your loved one’s care and stay completely involved.
3. Utilizing the Right Resources
Long-distance caregivers often have trouble finding appropriate resources for their loved one. This is not only frustrating, but it can take up time you really don’t have to spare. Knowing who and where you can turn to for help is essential. A local geriatric care manager can help you with decisions, but it’s also critical that you keep close in touch with the supervisors from the homecare agency you’ve chosen. They will answer your questions regarding ClearCare’s software and help you get the most out of their innovative services.
4. Finding Your Balance
You may be a long-distance caregiver, but you are likely also a spouse, parent, and employee. You have numerous responsibilities – in addition to those related to caregiving. Feeling overwhelmed is natural – you’ve got a lot on your plate. But finding the right balance is essential. You won’t be of any use to your aging parent, your family, or yourself if you burn out.
Reaching out for help is the only way you can maintain the proper balance between your personal life and your caregiving responsibilities. ClearCare’s caregiver software allows you to check on your loved one’s care at any time –and you also have the reassurance of knowing you’ll be alerted if there is a problem. This confidence will lessen your anxiety and let you focus on your own life and family.
5. Feeling “Out of the Loop”
A chief complaint among long-distance caregivers is feeling they are not really a part of their loved one’s care. You may wonder if your parent is being properly cared for, and if decisions regarding his care are the ones you would make. ClearCare’s web-based technologies allow you to bridge the distance between you and your loved one, putting your doubts to rest.
When circumstances prevent you from personally overseeing the care of your loved one, it can be very comforting to know that there are homecare solutions available to monitor your relative’s care. Even if you can’t physically be there every day, ClearCare’s homecare software makes it possible for you to feel as if you are.