Over seven million adults are long distance caregivers, and this figure will increase as baby boomers age. The need for extra family support can emerge over time or quite suddenly. When elder caregiving, parenting and career concerns coincide, the strain can be enormous. Add geographic distance to caregiving, and the stress of additional planning may feel overhelming. This position may bring with it feelings of worry, guilt and lack of control.
Who is a long distance caregiver? The caregiver may be any gender, live an hour or more away, any income level, age, social status, or level of employment. A long distance caregiver may manage money, arrange for in home care, provide respite care for a primary caregiver, help a loved one move to new home or facility, have the role of information coordinator, or be the one to help someone understand the medical maze.
With love and true concern established, the stress of being sandwiched or distanced can be viewed as one of life’s great challenges, and eventually, some of life’s important memories.
You may face similar demands and need similar strategies as the sandwich generation caregiver. CJE SeniorLife recommends the creation of a care notebook to keep facts and contact information. As in all caregiving situations, you may need to enlist help, both informal and professional. Build your caregiving circle, divide responsibilities and use technology to its fullest extent. Your issues are the same as a local caregiver, but you may have less immediate control.
The following sections may assist you: