Caring long distance—a practical checklist
Many elders live independently and fiercely guard their independence. When additional care becomes necessary to stay healthy and safe, most prefer to stay in their home instead of moving to a retirement community, assisted living facility or even a nursing home. Staying at home often means being at a distance from the primary caregiver. Although staying at home creates many hazards, steps can be taken to avoid the many concerns that surround aging in place.
Hire a care manager
Caregivers, and especially long distance caregivers, should seriously consider hiring a geriatric care manager, who is a health care professional with training in gerontology, social work and nursing. Usually, the geriatric care manager will conduct an assessment of the elder and develop an individualized care plan. In the long distance caregiving situation, the geriatric care manager will act as a liaison for the caregiver by overseeing the elder’s care, providing a report to the caregiver at regular intervals and alerting the caregiver to any potential problems. The geriatric care manager’s additional oversight provides peace of mind for the caregiver and protects the long distance caregiver from claims that he or she is not conscientiously carrying out required duties due to the distance and the resulting lack of personal oversight.
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by: Gina M. Barry