September 11, 2020
It’s really easy to feel out of control and behind as a long-distance caregiver. When you’re not in the situation on a daily basis, there are things you may feel as if you’re missing. Hitting these main categories can help you to feel more informed.
The very first thing you need is to understand what’s going on right now. What are your senior’s current health challenges and issues? Is she dealing with chronic health conditions? Or is she at a stage where her health is fairly stable and it’s more about maintaining that status quo? This can feel kind of intrusive and nosy at first, but this is crucial information for you to have.
Once you’ve got a handle on what’s happening right now, you need to know what the future may hold. There’s no way to have a guaranteed prognosis, of course, but you absolutely can get a general idea what to expect. This is especially important if your aging family member is facing chronic health conditions right now. Understanding how those conditions are likely to change is going to have an impact on a lot of the decisions you need to make.
It’s one thing to know more about the possible prognosis your senior is facing, but you also need to know what sounds the alarms. There’s the health end of that question, of course, but you also need to know what else is a sign that there’s something wrong. For example, if you and your senior work out a communication plan, where she’ll check in a certain number of times per week, what does it mean when you don’t hear from her? What are the signals you’re looking for that things aren’t right?
There’s a lot more that you need to know, too. What are your senior’s other needs? Is driving becoming difficult for her? Would it help to have someone else handling light housekeeping so that she’s not feeling as worn out? Consider also that it’s a good idea for you to have another objective set of eyes on the situation so that you can understand what exactly is becoming a challenge for your senior.
Information gives both you and your senior a lot more ability to handle what needs to be done, even from a distance. The more information that you have, the better choices you can make as circumstances change.