To be effective as a long distance caregiver you need two fundamental things:
- people to help you, and
- a way to manage your parent’s care from anywhere.
A systems approach makes it doable. The Managing Elder Care from Afar book walks you through setting up the nine components of your caregiving system.
The nine components include:
- Establishing quality of life principles to guide all aspects of your parent’s care
- Mapping out daily routine activities your parent needs help with
- Setting up your caregiving system and using it to manage documents, passwords and other important information securely
- Recruiting and managing your caregiving team
- Setting up the right legal documents
- Defining a health care plan that provides “just enough” care
- Managing health insurance
- Managing finances
- Planning and forecasting future levels of care, including understanding when assisted living makes sense and dealing with care gaps in retirement community services
The secret is to organize all of the critical pieces of information in 4 tools (contacts, password safe, cloud file storage, automated reminders/alerts) you can use securely from anywhere.
There is a lot to learn, but the tips and strategies in the book will help you get up to speed quickly. Once established, your caregiving system will enable you to fulfill your caregiving role and maintain your sanity. Most importantly, your caregiving system will reduce friction between you and your parent so you can focus more of your time enjoying the small pleasures of life with them.
Your caregiving system will not create itself. YOU must take action! Things are only going to get crazier. The sooner you start, the sooner you get your life back. Since each chapter is designed as its own module, you can start with the one most pressing for you right now and you’ll be on your way to activating your caregiving system!