For family caregivers of loved ones with dementia who live remotely, these have been especially challenging times. Not only has the pandemic made travel more difficult, it has managed to add to the already high anxiety and stress levels felt by family members who cannot be with their loved ones during these times.
If you have an aging parent or other loved one who has been recently diagnosed with dementia and are not able to live close to them, it’s important to know that there are things you can do to be better prepared to care for them.
Here are three tips for long distance caregivers to help narrow the distance gap between you and your loved one:
- Make sure you have all necessary documents. That includes medical information (medications, dosages, etc.), doctors, specialists and other professionals who interact with your loved one. If you haven’t done so already, make sure that you or a trusted family member has been granted Power of Attorney by your loved one. This is essential to properly look after their best interests.
- Build a strong local support network. Do you know your loved one’s neighbors? Now is the time to reach out. Make an effort to connect with them and exchange phone numbers and email addresses. Neighbors and other local friends can become valuable allies in helping to keep your loved one safe and healthy.
- Use available technologies to keep in touch. Fortunately, especially since the pandemic hit, technology has continued to grow, both in capabilities and accessibility. Make sure you are familiar with the latest offerings and understand which ones might be helpful for your loved one to access all the people and resources they need.
At Anthem Memory Care communities, our residents keep in close touch with family members tablets and other technologies to connect and visit virtually. The resident shown above is enjoying a lovely guitar serenade from a family member during a meal at Chelsea Place Memory Care in Aurora, Colorado.
Finally, consider reaching out to memory care communities local to your loved one. While you may not be ready yet to make decisions about memory care, they should have resources to help you connect to services you need today. Our staff at Anthem Memory Care communities is always available to talk with you, provide local information and help you prepare for the journey ahead.
While you may be physically removed from your loved one, being organized with all the documents and information you need and using the many resources available to you can help enormously. And remember, we’re always here to help!