So Far Away: Twenty Questions and Answers About Long-Distance Caregiving.

Caregiving for aging family members is challenging. However, in today’s mobile society where family members may live many miles apart, it is especially stressful. Therefore, for the long distance caregiver there is a sense of concern that can generate tremendous guilt.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that there are approximately seven million Americans are long-distance caregivers i.e. caregiving for someone who lives an hour’s drive or more away. From providing respite care, to remote financial or medical management support; arranging and supervising in-home care; or being available in case of emergency. Additionally,  long-distance caregivers step in as advocates for their aging relatives regarding health and financial matters.

The typical long-distance caregiver is a middle-aged working mother with many family responsibilities at home. But whatever your gender, income, age, social circumstances or employment, long-distance caregiving is an enormous challenge.

Frequently long-distance caregiving starts out on a manageable level i.e. a check up on Mom. However, before you know it, your family member needs more help than you are able to manage.

The National Institute of Health offers an online publication that can help you and your family navigate this difficult decision called So Far Away: Twenty Questions and Answers About Long-Distance Caregiving. It answers many of the questions facing anyone in this situation whether now or in the near future. 

For many private caregiving in the home is all that’s needed to prevent or at least prolong the time before the assisted living or the nursing home is necessary.

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