Create a larger and larger Circle of Support for your family member and yourself as the long distance care provider in these five steps.
Put more of yourself on the locals’ radar. Make a transponder for them to track you and a GPS for you to track them.
1.Contact your relative’s formal supports. What’s that? Formal support are home health care, custodial care, geriatric care management, adult day care, a physician or others whose services are purchased by client or reimbursed through a third party like Medicare. Introduce yourself, get contacts information and person and ask them to communicate with you on a regular basis.
2. Make a list of all the social groups your family member attends. This might be a senior center, adult day center, physician, physical therapist etc. Find the main contact and add to your list.
3. Gather groups that may be church, your older relative attends. Find a reliable point of contact the church, synagogue, mosque, or spiritual center where your relative is a member. Many times the religious leader will visit on a regular basis, and a member of the church will visit. The bonus is that if your relative needs transportation to services, often you can arrange that through the religious group at the same time. Religious communities are surprising but great means of providing someone to visit your relative and offer them socialization.
4. Locate social groups through the state or community that your long distance relative attends and again get contact information and make a connection between you and a representative.
5. Using the local Information and referral web site or visiting their office gather all the resources that your older relative might use to find additional socialization. For example a knitting group or book club or support group like a widow’s support group if a spouse. Discuss joining one these and if they are open take them to their first meeting.
Add all these with contacts information to a web-based source where you can store all the information such as Caregiving From Distance family folder . You have created a very large circle of care plus a contact database to support yourself and your long distance relative.
If this seems like an exhausting task, consider hiring a geriatric care manager, who can monitor, engage in social networks, formal and informal, and create that circle of support for you – critically really lighten the load that a long distance care provider carries.