Home Instead Senior Care Offers Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers

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The holiday season is an important time to stay connected with long-distance loved ones who need care.

This holiday season, many family members are tasked with arranging care accommodations for older loved ones who live far away.

“Long-distance caregiving during any time of the year can be tough for families responsible for older adults living an hour away or hundreds of miles away,” said Lakelyn Hogan, gerontologist at Home Instead Senior Care. “The family traditions around the holidays can make the time even more difficult and emotional, so it’s more important than ever for families to stay in close touch with long-distance senior loved ones and their support systems.”

A survey conducted by Home Instead Senior Care found that 23 percent of American adults who currently care for an older relative live more than an hour away. And as baby boomers continue to age, America’s older population will double by 2030, reaching 70 million and growing the need for long-distance senior care.

For adult children and families, caring for a loved one who lives any distance can be stressful and expensive. If relocating closer to a loved one is not an option, Home Instead recommends the following tips for providing the best care.

  • Establish open communication – When visiting a relative, make time to meet the individuals who are part of a loved one’s everyday life. Whether that’s a physician or caregiver, it’s important to get to know those who are involved in the daily care of a loved one.
  • Be observant – If you notice a loved one avoids answering specific questions about their health, has stopped participating in their usual activities, is unaware of current events or forgetting important dates – these may be warning signs that they need additional care or help around the house.
  • Be prepared – Create a list of your older adult’s medical issues/medications, doctor’s names, and legal documents in case you need to access them from afar during an emergency.
  • Spend quality time during visits – It’s easy to get wrapped up in caregiving responsibilities. When you visit, set aside time with your loved one to participate in activities that are unrelated to caregiving. Go see a movie together, plan a visit to see other family members, go for a walk or simply relax at home.
  • Get to know neighbors and friends – Get to know your loved one’s neighbors and identify one or two trustworthy individuals that can check in and give you occasional updates.
  • Learn more about caregiving – Find support to help you become a better caregiver. For example, Home Instead Senior Care offers resources that can help family members provide better care and learn skills, such as how to safely move someone from a bed to a chair, how to help someone bathe, and how to prevent and treat bed sores, as well as basic first aid.

For more tips and resources around caring for older loved ones, visit caregiverstress.com.

ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Neb., by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today this network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 12 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual’s needs. Services span the care continuum from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family care education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.

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Dan Wieberg
Home Instead Senior Care
+1 (402) 575-5970
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