Monday, September 14, 2009

Caring for Mom or Dad from a distance

I came across a great article titled Long Distance Caregiving: Advice for the 'Sandwich Generation' with tips on how to manage long distance caregiving. Today, many families are spread out over distance – sometimes measured in a few miles; other times in continents and days worth of travel.

It can be really challenging to help a family member from a distance. It’s really tough just to identify when help is needed, and what help is needed, let alone provide assistance.

It helps to have someone on the ground where your loved one lives who can help you figure it out, and then work with you to make sure that your loved one has the support he/she needs. Friends, neighbors and relatives may be able to help, but sometimes you need someone a bit more removed that you can trust to see the big picture. That’s where professional care managers may be able to help. Although they’re not inexpensive, they are generally more economical than cross-country trips. The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers can help you find a care manager; their website is rich with resources to help you understand this service as well.

Family caregiving is challenging in the best case; at a distance it’s a very tough job. Here’s my advice: Get all the help you can!

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