By: Breque Bonner
Caregivers that are geographically separated from their loved one face some unique challenges. According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s benchmark annual report, 2.3 million Alzheimer’s caregivers live at least an hour from their loved one. Sharon Z. Lena, RN for Bayshore Home Care knows first hand the stress that long-distance caregiving can cause. She lives in Florida while her aging parents (one of whom has dementia) live in Connecticut. Sharon finds herself “feeling guilty” that she isn’t there. She finds it difficult to entrust the care of her parents to anyone else but understands the importance of utilizing the services of professionals. Here are several items to consider when determining your course of action as a family caregiver.
While all those caring for a loved one around the corner and those caring for a loved one across the country face financial burdens, those caring from a distance carry an extra burden. It is estimated that long-distance caregivers spend almost twice as much out-of-pocket on care for their loved one as those that are geographically close. The costs associated with care for a loved one can be daunting. When it comes to caring from a distance you must determine what is reasonable for your situation. How much can you afford to travel to see your loved one and miss work? How can you ensure your loved one receives the care they need without sacrificing your financial wellbeing?
As the admissions supervisor for Bayshore Home Care and long-distance caregiver, Sharon L. Lena, RN has empathy for adult daughters and sons who are geographically separated from the loved ones they care for. Sharon notes that “open lines of communication with those caring for your loved ones on a routine basis really helps ease the burden and guilt of being so far away. To know that if anything were to happen, I would be notified and my parents would be taken care of, that gives me peace of mind.”
Do you feel like you get the full story of what happened at your loved one’s doctor appointments when you aren’t there? For many long-distance caregivers communication is a major source of worry. If you want to ensure that you receive a complete recap of what happened during your loved ones visit to the doctor, Bayshore Home Care can help. Bayshore Home Care will provide a Registered Nurse to accompany your loved one to the doctor and serve as a surrogate family member to advocate on behalf of the patient and provide a full report to you. Vickie Tew, RN for Bayshore Home Care, notes the importance of this service, “It’s a great benefit to out of town family members; they can receive a full report on their loved one without missing work. The peace of mind knowing that you are completely aware of your loved one’s health situation is priceless.”
- Health Changes
When caring from a distance you may not feel completely informed about your loved one’s changing health situation. Even worse, you may be shocked to see the decline in your loved one’s health from one visit to the next, despite their assurance that everything is fine over the phone. If you are concerned about your loved one living safely at home we can help. Bayshore Home Care, located in Tampa Bay Florida, provides Certified Nursing Assistants to ensure your loved ones safety, making sure all of their daily needs are met and to be your eyes and ears in the home. Our staff is available twenty-four hours a day to serve you and your family.
Although caregiving from a distance is difficult you can have peace of mind knowing that you are fully informed and that your loved one is receiving the care they need.
Information provided in part by: New Report Highlights the Stress of Long-Distance Caregiving,-By Sherri Snelling, March 20, 2013,web http://www.nextavenue.org/blog/new-report-highlights-stress-long-distance-caregiving