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Health Tip: Long-Distance Caregiving

Caring for a loved one from afar

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(HealthDay News) -- More Americans are faced with caring for older relatives, and frequently this involves long-distance care.

It can be difficult to manage the care of a loved one from afar. But with proper planning, time-management and dedication, a long-distance caregiver can be as effective as one who lives nearby.

The National Institute on Aging offers these suggestions to make long-distance caregiving more manageable:

  • Be informed. Know what you need to know about the health of your loved one. Read about the loved one's condition and learn as much as you can.
  • Plan your visits and allow for enough time to accomplish everything.
  • Spend time actually visiting with your family member. Don't make the trip only about the illness.
  • Get in touch with all relevant doctors whenever you visit to make sure you are well-informed about the health of your loved one.
  • Help the person stay in contact with you by providing a dedicated landline or cell phone.
  • Take a course on caregiving.
  • Gather a list of resources near the loved one, so you can best help that person.

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