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Education Center

LONG DISTANCE CARE FOR SENIORS AND THEIR FAMILIES

October 2, 2018

How to Care for Senior Loved Ones Long Distance

Offering real support and care to seniors is a challenge for many families. For those living far away from senior loved ones, the challenge is even greater.

 

As families spread out around the country and globe, seniors often rely on the support of loved ones who live far away. Long-distance caregiving has unique challenges, but it can be done safely and effectively.

 

In the US, approximately 5-7 million adults are responsible for caring for a senior family member who lives more than 26 miles away. For seniors and their caregivers, long-distance support is possible through smart strategies.

 

Common Challenges of Long-Distance Caregiving

 

Caregiving for senior loved ones is typically challenging. Coordinating services, ensuring a senior’s safety, offering companionship, and dealing with emotions are all common difficulties for families. Distance adds more complications.

 

As a result, common challenges of long-distance caregiving include:

 

  • Finding, hiring, and managing professional caregivers

  • Filling in caregivers during times of absence

  • Tracking seniors’ progress, needs, and well-being

  • Offering companionship to combat loneliness

  • Arranging for services like transportation

  • Gaining assurance of senior safety in their own homes

  • Feeling disconnected or out of the loop in the caregiving process

  • Paying for quality care plus travel expenses

 

Fun Facts about Aging in the Modern Day

 

  • Only 3% of seniors live in nursing homes

  • Many seniors choose to live in retirement communities with age restrictions, and often times their children don’t meet those requirements

  • A large number of seniors choose to never retire and remain independent

  • An increasing number of seniors like to travel for fun

  • Approximately ½ of seniors in the US use social media and like to connect onlin

 

Strategies for Successful Long-Distance Caregiving


Long-distance caregiving has become increasingly common due to the changing lifestyles of both seniors and families. Many caregiving agencies are now equipped to include long-distance loved ones in caregiving. Advances in technology also make it possible for far-away family members to be involved in caregiving.

 

Smart strategies for long-distance caregiving include:

 

  • Selecting a caregiver agency that uses technology to offer real-time interaction and transparency between in-person caregivers and family members

  • Using video calling technology to stay connected with seniors on a regular basis

  • Hiring companions, transportation, and other services designed specifically for seniors

  • Opting for the support of a professional senior care agency

  • Setting up automatic bill pay and other regular needs so seniors don’t have to track them

  • Making sure access to medical records has been granted to those living far away

 

Smart Tech for Long-Distance Care

 

  • Video-calling devices

  • Video doorbells that connect with family member’s phones

  • Caregiving tracking and communication apps

     

     

  • Wi-Fi lights that can be controlled remotely and by voice

  • Biosensors that offer health and movement information

 

Often, seniors and long-distance caregivers are anxious about each other’s well-being. Stay positive in conversations with either party. Reassurance can many times improve the situation.

 

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