Long-distance caregiving can lead to difficulties with communication, coordinating care, and handling expenses, not to mention the emotional burden of caring for someone who lives far away.As a result, caregivers have had to come up with creative ways of addressing the problem of staying connected with their loved ones and coordinating with other family members.Luckily, our own personal computers, phones, and other technological devices are there to help out, and the past few years have seen the advent of numerous websites and software applications tailored to the needs of caregivers.
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Whether you prefer modern technology or old-fashioned pen and paper, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help seniors and their families stay in contact and monitor ongoing caregiving needs.
Family meetings can be one of the most effective ways of conducting elder care business and planning as it’s important to keep everyone on the same page.
It helps to meet in-person, but f you are a long-distance caregiver, all is not lost—it’s a great idea to establish a network of friends and family in the vicinity who can check-in on mom or dad.
“One-on-one interaction is important to keep your loved one socialized and stimulated, not to mention, people in your network can let you know if they observe anything out of the ordinary,” said Joan Lunden in “Caregiving Tips From Joan Lunden: 6 Ways to Stay Connected.” Joan Lunden says she frequently sends her mom mail—either letters or just brief postcards—to let her know that she’s thinking of her. agrees: she types up her letters to her mom on the computer, where she can insert photos of her family, and then prints them out to send.
This is also a nice way to keep extended family apprised of a senior loved one’s health and activities.
Plenty of people report that their favorite method of keeping track of caregiving activities like medication administration and doctor appointments is simply by writing them down.
Some keep a regular notebook or steno pad for recordkeeping, sharing it with other family caregivers or health care professionals as needed.
Others use products designed for caregivers, like The Care Organizer, which has useful pockets and dividers for receipts and records.
If you’ve got a computer handy, don’t discount the effectiveness of a simple email.