According to a study on Long-Distance Caregiving conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP, 15% of the estimated 34 million Americans who provide care to older family members are considered long-distance caregivers, defined as living an hour or more away.
Living away from an aging parent can have an impact on one’s family life, finances and career, not to mention emotional well-being. It often requires caregivers to miss work to care for their relatives, manage and supervise paid care providers from a distance, and feel left out of decisions made by health care professionals or others.
The survey also learned the following about long-distance caregivers:
Despite living an average distance of 450 miles or nearly 7 1/2 hours away from the individual they care for, more than half say they visit at least a few times monthly.
Nearly a quarter of the long distance caregivers are the only or primary caregiver.
Nearly three quarters help their loved one with the instrumental Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as transportation, grocery shopping, managing finances or medications, or cooking and on average, spend 22 hours a month doing this.
Almost 40% also provide help with the more intense ADLs, such as bathing, dressing, feeding and toileting for an average of 12 hours per month.
Nearly 80% work either full or part-time, and more than 40% have had to rearrange their work schedules in order to perform their caregiving responsibilities. Furthermore, 36% reported missing days or work and 12% have taken a leave of absence.
For the Long-Distance Caregiver one of the most important things that can be done is to identify someone you can trust to be your eyes and ears when you’re not available. This means counting on a trusted neighbor or friend, or hiring a licensed home health care agency. Professional home care services can range from non-medical care (for companionship, shopping, cleaning, etc.) for several hours a week, to live-in medical services (as provided by a trained home health aide.)
At Second Family Home Care we understand how stressful it can be to have a loved one that needs help to live independently, and many of the worries that accompany it, especially from a distance.
We want to alleviate some of those stresses by giving real-time transparency to the care provided and by helping ease some of the logistical burdens with our online Family Room portal, a very unique service among Home Care companies.
With the Family Room, available at no extra cost, families are able to access records of care online from any device with Internet access.
Additionally, family members can use a shared calendar to coordinate between themselves and track visits scheduled by our caregivers, as well as track invoices.
How does this work?
Once the family member receives an emailed invitation giving them access to our online Family Room portal, they will be able to do the following:
Keep live track of caregiver status updates
Coordinate and schedule events with other family members
View their invoices online
With the Family Room portal, not only can the family caregiver keep track of the financial aspects of caring for their loved one, but they will also be able to track the care provided whenever and wherever they have Internet access. It’s a wonderful tool for families, whether the loved one lives with them, just across town, or even half-way across the country. And for the long-distance caregiver, being able to stay connected and informed on a daily basis gives them one less thing to worry about.
Watch a short video demonstration at Family Room Portal