Being a caregiver far away for an ailing parent or grandparent can be draining financially and emotionally.
Here are 10 ways to ease the burdens from the National Institute on Aging:
- Before deciding on your caregiver responsibilities, reflect on your strengths and limitations.
- Determine how often you can afford to travel to your ailing parent financially and mentally.
- .Think about whether you can be both calm and assertive when communicating from a distance.
- If a sibling or other relative nearby the infirm parent is the primary giver, make a list of all caregiving responsibilities and identify who will be responsible for each.
- Ask that primary caregiver how you can be the most helpful.
- Think about your schedule and how it might be adapted to give the primary caregiver a break.
- Gather a list of resources such as pharmacies and groceries that deliver and public and private transit services (called paratransit) for the disabled, in your ailing parent’s neighborhood.
- Consider taking caregiver training.
- Play to your strongest suit on caregiving activities that don’t need to be done every day. If you are handy with tools, you can be your parent’s primary fixer-upper. If you’re adept with numbers, then your biggest help to mom or dad could be paying bills, keeping track of bank statements, and reviewing insurance policies and reimbursement reports.
- Don’t underestimate how much a phone call can aid a frail parent.
“Just listening may not sound like much help, but often it is,” says the aging center, part of the National Institutes of Health.