When you get the news that someone you love is sick or needs medical attention, the first thing you want to do is help. What happens when that loved one is far away? In another state, or even another country? How do you step in to help when you can’t actually be there? We have a few tips for long-distance caregiving that will allow you to truly help, even from far away.
Do the Research
One of the best things you can do to help a sick or aging loved one is to educate yourself on their options and help them make the best decisions. Whether you are a child or sibling of the person in need, you probably know well what their daily needs and wants might be. Taking the time to investigate the options can free them from the worry and time it takes to do for themselves.
As treatments occur or the caregiving needs to be changed, organization will be key in keeping everyone involved aware of and confident in decisions being made. An ideal job for a long-distance caregiver is to arrange and systemize the paperwork and accounts associated with the person being helped. This could be done with physical files and paperwork or with digital documents. The Caregiver Action Network provides a useful Patient File Checklist.
Bills and Incidentals
Take the frustration and concern out of monthly bills by scheduling automatic payments or having bills arrive to you so you can ensure they are paid on time. If your loved one is on a fixed or limited income, you may also want to coordinate with others to cover the expenses of incidentals as they arrive.
In addition to coordinating expenses, a long-term solution to long-distance caregiving includes managing all the people and loved ones around the country, even world, who want to stay involved and help when they can. Set up a Lotsa Community to keep everyone up to date on the needs of the patient. You can also schedule meals, housekeeping, carpooling, and more with the Help Calendar.
If you or another caregiver can’t be nearby to bring a meal, you can still make sure that your loved one is eating well. Check out GrubHub.com for local restaurant deliveries. If your loved one enjoys cooking or has someone who can cook for them, try BlueApron.com, Plated.com, or FreshHello.com. You can also contact their local grocery stores to inquire about grocery deliveries.
With modern technology and new resources made available every day, you can help even when you are far away. Get creative and personal to bring care from wherever you are.