Minnesota Elder Lawyer Offers Tips for Long-Distance Caregiving

Nov 5, 2022

Minnesota elder lawyers know that caring for an older adult from a distance can be a challenge. It can be overwhelming to think about your loved one living in a different state or even a foreign country, especially if their physical or mental impairments prevent them from taking care of themselves.

The good news is that there are still ways to help manage your loved one’s care despite the distance. Below are some tips that can help you look after your sick or elderly loved one from afar.

Learn Everything About Being a Caregiver

You should research and learn everything you need to know about providing the best care possible for your loved one. Speak to medical providers about the illness your family member or friend has. Learn about necessary medical treatments, medications, and other issues you might need to address.

You should also become acquainted with your loved one’s medical team. It would be best if you or someone else in the family had access to vital financial and medical information. That way, one person can be responsible for all the necessary conversations with the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Of course, you may need specific legal documents to handle this task, which we’ll discuss in more details below.

Plan Frequent Visits

Living far away from a loved one presents a range of challenges. For one, you can’t get in your car and drive to see them. Long-distance caregiving often requires a plane ride. As such, you might not have the financial means to fly to see your loved one as much as you would like. However, it’s crucial to visit whenever possible.

Aside from communicating with your family member regularly, you should schedule trips to spend quality time with them in person. Discuss their schedule with their primary caregiver to determine when the best times to visit would be.

You can also ask if they need help with anything, such as driving them to doctor’s appointments or fixing up things around the house. You can help out with whatever they need whenever you’re in town.

Find Activities to Do Together

During your visits, you can take your loved one out and participate in recreational or social activities both of you enjoy. It’s beneficial for seniors to get out of the house and have some fun. It not only boosts their mental health but also promotes better physical health.

You can take your relative to a rec center for bingo night or a card game. Maybe you are movie buffs and like to go to the movie theater together. Setting aside the time to do enjoyable activities together can strengthen your bond and create memories that last a lifetime.

Maintain Necessary Paperwork

A significant part of long-distance caregiving is keeping important documents organized and in a safe place. Typically, taking care of an older family member requires accessing medical, legal, and financial records from time to time. If you’re their power of attorney, keep those documents somewhere handy, so you can grab them whenever you need them. You may also need a medical directive and signed HIPAA to communicate with doctors.

Conclusion

Meeting your loved one’s needs and protecting their interests is essential when you’re their caregiver. Living apart creates some obstacles, but you can provide quality care to keep them happy and healthy.

Consult an experienced elder law attorney immediately for the guidance and support you need.  Our Monticello elder lawyer is here to offer assistance and guide you through the process of creating a comprehensive long-term care plan. Simply call us at 763-244-2949 or click here schedule a free initial phone consultation.