“I need you at home…NOW! Your dad hasn’t been feeling well and the doctor wants to admit him to the hospital for tests!”
Those aren’t the words that we want to hear pouring out from the telephone. However, if we’re involved in long-distance caregiving of a senior loved one…many of us are juggling this care routine by phone. And, jetting out of town for a quick check-in visit can be unsettling for our entire household — especially without prior planning.
This last installment from our five-part video series on long distance caregiving helps us identify tasks that we can accomplish ahead of time in order to be prepared for a last-minute trip home to check on Mom or Dad. And, that unexpected or emergency trip home WILL happen sometime during our caregiving experience with our parents.
An example of materials that you can prepare BEFORE an emergency include a “File of Life”. This file of personal information is placed in a readily visible location, such as the refrigerator door, and contains vital details such as: lists of medications, special health conditions, contact information for doctors and family members, and other care information.
Other duties that you may want to make prior arrangements for include developing a back up care plan for your children or pets and having an overnight bag packed and ready for a quick departure.
If you are employed, you may want to consider informing your employer that you are a long-distance care provider and that you wish to provide a back-up plan for your workload in the event of an unscheduled absence.
If you have a story to tell about your long-distance caregiving experience, please share with us.