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Caregiving From a Distance

Caring for a loved one when you live in a different town may be challenging. How do you know Mom is taking her medications? How do you know if Dad is not overexerting himself?

There are several steps you can take to ease the stress that comes with long-distance caregiving. Schedule check-in times. Regular phone calls can be a good way to check in. Schedule a specific time of day and/or days of the week that you will call.

Some seniors have difficulty hearing on the phone. Arrange for special equipment if needed. Ask open-ended questions so that you elicit a response other than yes or no. When you listen to your loved one, make note of how they speak. Listen for changes in how they are connecting with you. Is their tone different? Are they less engaged than normal?

Email and video chats are also good options for contact. It may be easier for Mom to let you know how she's feeling by typing rather than talking. A video chat may assist you in seeing how Dad is looking physically.