How to Handle Feeling Out of Touch as a Long-distance Family Caregiver

October 27, 2016

Caregiver in Chappaqua NY

Being a long-distance family caregiver is not an easy task. When you’re in that position, it’s too easy to start to feel as if you don’t really know or understand what is going on with your elderly loved one. Some of these strategies can help with those feelings.

Set up a Solid Network that You Trust

One of the best ways that you can eliminate at least some of the feelings that you have of being out of touch with your loved one’s situation is to ask for help from people who are able to be there. Talk to other family members, neighbors, and friends who can keep you up to date on what is going on when you’re not there. If you can gain help from several people, the burden isn’t on just one individual.

Make a Plan to Visit More Often

Deciding to be with your elderly loved one more isn’t an easy one to make. You have your own career, your own life, and possibly your own family to consider. That means that your visits to your elderly loved one are going to have to be carefully planned. Set aside some time to figure out how you can make that happen. The plan is usually the most difficult part.

Learn Your Loved One’s Subtle Cues

Every elderly loved one has subtle cues that can let you know that something is going on with her. She may start to miss some of your scheduled calls or she might start to decline video calls in favor of audio-only calls. Or your loved one might start to dodge answering some of your questions, responding with a generic “I’m fine” instead of giving you more detailed answers as she perhaps did in the past. As you learn those subtle cues, you can start to tell much faster when there is a reason for concern with your loved one.

Be Gentle with Yourself

You’re your own worst enemy as a long-distance family caregiver because you’re the one who is most likely to pile on the guilt about not being with your loved one more. Remember that you’re human and that you’re doing the best that you can in this situation. If there is something you can change to make the situation better for you and for your elderly loved one, then make that change. But otherwise, be gentle with yourself.

As you gain more experience with your caregiving duties, you’ll start to learn when and how to adjust your plans as needed.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Chappaqua, NY, contact Star One Home Care and Medical Staffing at 718-733-2222 or 914-362-0899.  Call today!

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Director of Client Services at Star One Home Care
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA is Director of Client Services & Director of Phoenix Nurse Aide Training Center. Before assuming the post in 2012, Patricia was the Director or Nursing & Service Delivery at WRC for 3 years where she was the strategic lead for nursing and services to members.

Patricia started her nursing career 19 years ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and research institution in New York City, and since then has gained experience in Adult Intensive Care Units (ICU) , Pediatric Care (PICU ), Operating Room (OR) , mental health and community settings. She later moved into director of nursing roles, where she obtained extensive experience in leading and developing the nursing profession. She also pioneered good partnership working with other health care organizations, as well as social services, and the wider community.
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

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