Is long distance caregiving really possible? - AgingCare.com

Is long distance caregiving really possible?

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How many here are doing long-distance caregiving? Is it possible if there are no relatives or close friends in your parent's town? How much realistically can be hired out? In my mother's case she can still walk though painfully and is able to keep up with her finances but shows more and more memory gaps.

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TammyAnn- three days per week does not a week make. What happened the other four days? Having someone with dementia takes 24/7 care because each person has unique symptoms. I agree there are good substitute caregivers (paid) and then there are not. Unless one has cameras throughout a house, you never know what really goes on. Spending those last years or months with a parent will allow you to say good-bye. And no, caregiving is not for everyone and each has to make that decision what to do for themselves.
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oreosmeow- I have had the same issue with my mother. Caregiving is not for the faint of heart and you definitely need alligator skin. I have been caring for my mom for nearly two years now. We have had a couple of other caregivers on four different occasions. Each one my mother asked to leave because of her paranoia about strangers and stealing from her. The most extreme case she actually attempted to throw one out of the house, with the phone in one hand ready to call 911. This was when I realized that I needed to notify the police of my mother's Alzheimer's. When this occurs the only possible caregivers, if parents want to remain in their homes, is a family member. It is much less stressful on the parents, as well, family have the same memories and are able to comfort and provide reassurance as no one else can.
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I think it comes down to how receptive the person needing care is to the idea of having people help her. My mom wasn't. Flat out, she wasn't. And I knew she WOULD accept me in her home to cook for her and so forth.

Also, she would drive despite having had her license revoked - the neighbors would call to tell me they saw her down at Kmart or wherever. Nearly every night, as I got off work, I'd have messages from the neighbors, a doctor's office (blowing off an appointment), the senior transport system in town (refusing to go with the driver), Home Health (refusing entry), Adult Protective Services (YIKES!), the people I'd hired to go in and help with errands a couple times a week (being literally thrown out the door - for 91 and only 95 pounds, my mom is surprisingly strong and nasty when she wants).

So I just couldn't do it anymore and moved out here 11 months ago. Honestly, if I hadn't, she'd be dead by now.

But if she'd been receptive to having people come in to help her, I wouldn't have had to move in with her - she wasn't and still isn't. If I hadn't been able to make the life-altering choice of moving in with her, I don't know what I would have done...
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I was a long distance caregiver for a few years, and spent at least $16,000 on travel, bills, maintenance of Mom's house she never went back to, partial payment for her assisted living, etc. etc. etc.....if you have a chance to either move or get them moved to your neck of the woods it can be a lot better, but sometimes you can do a lot by phone, neighbor, internet, etc. in between visits. Prepare to spend all your vacations on caregiving and visiting, and try to reduce work commitments if you can. My dad would have consented to move and I was starting to explore the options just before he passed on; Mom I eventually did sell her home and bring her here into a rehab program that would accept her. It did not go all that well, but at least she got to see her favorite grandchild a lot more and she did not have to be alone when she passed on, and that very well could have happened if we had not moved her, as it did with my dad. It is a hard decision to be faced with, and I have watched people make either choice and either have no regrets or tons of them. Sometimes I wanted to say that "long-distance caregiver" is just a euphemism for "not being there..." but then I go back and remember what we actually did and realize it might not have been all wrong either...big sigh, because there is no knowing what would have gone well or gone badly had I decided otherwise!
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I disagree with ferris,sorry i am a caregiver i had a couple i took care of 1 yr both passed away i lived with them 3 days a week all holidays when noone else would do it.. u see i had deep affection for the two of them . they taught me what love is and was and such devotion. i am an inspirational writer too. and i got to speak at the memorial for both u can get good help and loving caregivers not all are bad. long distant caregiving can be done right certifications and background check and references and prayer..
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copper - So sorry for your loses.
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I tried it last year with my folks. They had home health in 3 times a week and their church members would come and take them to Dr. Appointments. Mom started to go down hill and the HH nurse called me and we got her admitted to the hospital. She never did recover. I brought Dad back home with me and it was nice to have him with me. I wished they would have made the move a few years ago so I could have helped them, but they were stubborn and would not come. Dad was sad and lonely after mom passed and his health had gone down hill with trying to care for mom. Lost Dad in January. I relied on the HH agencies, social workers and the church but really would not recommend it.
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Of course you can take care of all the financial care-giving from a distance, but the day-to-day care is a different story. Unless you are willing to pay an all out salary for a live-in caregiver (s), I see no way that long-distance caregiving is a possibility.
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((((((whirlpool))))) first, always first, look after you - especially if you are caregiving a narcissist. If your mum does not have the finances for an ALF, start looking into Medicaid. Distance is best with these kind of people and it is doable.
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One of the many plus's of a GCM is also dealing with the medicare and other legalities of Eldercare- Ours was a nice bridge between the dr after hospital stays and other health issue's. She mediated the struggle of me understanding Dad's new found "loss of independance" and My struggle with him on "Dad , I am an adult now not the teenager who just left the house." He had a Hard time with that.
We have an Ageing Resource Center up here that has to do with Dartmouth(college+hospital) they have a wealth of info on the "two way street", offer classes for caregivers and even have social times that give the caregivers a bit of time to unwind while the one they are caring for is being entertained and socializing with their own equals.
The GCM has something similar down In NJ where my dad is. So look around there is help and resources out there.
There are some online courses you can also take, i did while i was still driving a truck cross country before Dad started his down hill slide, hoping I'd be ready to help when needed. Check the community colleges for that.
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