Providing Support Long Distance

There are about 2,000 miles between my home and Mom's home.  I came out here for college and just kind of found myself here due to jobs and marriage.  Being so far away offers up some challenges for providing support to Mom and Lyn.  However, despite the distance, there are things I can do for them.

Mom reads this blog each day.  This has proven a great way for me to easily get information to her without inundating her In-box with email after email.  It also allows me to wade through my findings, summarize them and group them when several present themselves as related to the same topic.

Mom and I speak multiple times each week.  She's the one who is in direct daily contact with Lyn.  I can listen and ponder what she's saying.  This gives her someone to speak to, adult-to-adult, and lets me offer up a different perspective.  I can suggest topics for discussion with the various care providers they encounter, as well.

When I am able to visit, I can help by handling tasks for Mom to give her a bit more of a break.  I may lighten her load by handling the meals while I'm there or running an errand for her with my sister at my side.

There are other items that long-distance care providers have to consider.  These are part of the long-term conversation with Mom and Lyn even now.  For example, will Lyn eventually need to live in a specialized nursing home?  If so, how can I help?  Would Lyn and Mom ever come to live with my family?  Would I need to quit work to help provide care for Lyn?  Can I help gain access to services for Lyn from my remote location?  Do I have the time and energy to research the options available to them?

I'm fortunate that I know most of the answers to the questions above.  For the ones I cannot currently answer, I have the time to dig into them to find the right answer.  I'm also extremely fortunate that Mom and I have paired up for this journey.  I know that Lyn is well cared for and lacks noting.

Additional Information Sources:
AARP - Obstacles to Long-Distance Caregiving
Alzheimer's Association - Long-Distance Caregiving
Family Caregiver Alliance - Long-Distance Caregiving
Family Caregiver Alliance - Handbook for Long-Distance Caregivers
So Far Away: Twenty Questions and Answers About Long-Distance Caregiving


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