Long Distance Caregiving
to Care: Long-Distance Caregiving
the care recipient receiving proper medical care?
not, what can be done to improve medical care?
the care recipient
his/her/their own personal care?
house-keeping and home maintenance duties?
freely and safely in and out of the house?
or have easy access to transportation?
his/her/their own finances?
living at home?if, what housing options exist?
there family members, friends and neighbours who can help?
publicly funded professional, community and commercial resources
are available? Are there co-payments for these services?
services are privately available? What are the associated
will the care be financed if publicly funded services are
will be responsible for what?
will you manage care at a distance?
you consider relocation?
relocating, who is going to move?
Steps to Take
a thorough assessment of the situation
for a medical assessment, including a cognitive assessment
by a family physician or specialist if necessary
what care services are needed
out about available community resources
help from local health departments and community agencies
or private care managers
out who is available to provide help family members,
friends and acquaintances
areas where you may need professional assistance
up a list of care options
the pros and cons associated with each option
a care plan
the care plan with the care recipient, family members, and
the health care team, as necessary
publicly funded services are not available, assistance from
private care managers may also be available for a fee. Be
sure to research associated costs.
who will provide which service, how often, for how long
the care plan, as circumstances change
housing and relocation options
at-home coping strategies
to manage care at a distance.
about helpful products and devices
health associations and
organizations that offer information, advice, and support
for long-distance caregiving
A social worker or care manager can work with you
to make the assessment, develop the care plan and
facilitate access to programs and services. The social
worker can also mediate in family discussions.
Create a care log or binder to keep track of important
and observations on the care recipient's health status,
e.g., medical information such as health conditions, medications,
recent injuries, accidents, etc.
names, numbers and addresses of the professional care providers
of relevant community resources
names, numbers and addresses of the informal network of
friends, family members and others providing care
financial, insurance information
other relevant documents
the care plan with family members. Explore ways to share
the care plan, as circumstances change
yourself to the professional care providers family
physician, home care worker, nursing home staff, and others
an informal care network. Ask relatives, friends and neighbours
to look in on the care recipient on a regular basis and
call you collect if they notice problems
in touch with the formal and informal caregivers. Make sure
they know how to reach you, in case of emergency
for savings plans and discounts for long-distance telephone
for emergencies. Be ready to travel at a moment's notice
have car in good repair; valid driver's licence and
auto insurance; current bus, train, airline schedules; passport
and travel documents in good order
for the future. Discuss and make legal and financial arrangements.
realistic about the care recipient's care requirements
realistic about how much care you can provide
for ways to balance your long distance caregiving responsibilities
against your other obligations, such as your health, family
a support group of friends, fellow caregivers and, if necessary,
professional counselors to whom you can turn
As long as the care recipient is capable, have him or
her make as many decisions as possible.
Remember that the person has been used to being independant.
Discuss caregiving issues in a sensitive manner.
Establish a routine. Call or visit on a regular basis.
Seek help from members of the care recipient's social
network or faith community.
Arrange power of attorney so that financial and legal
decisions remain within the family.
Register someone with Alzheimer Disease with the Alzheimer
A custom-engraved bracelet listing illnesses, allergies,
reactions to medicine
emergency response system:
a device that summons help from telephone emergency services
when the wearer presses a button