Trying to manage end of life care for a loved one when you’re hundreds or even thousands of miles away presents a set of problems few know how to deal with. While this is certainly a difficult time, there are a few things you can do to make it more bearable.
Have an Emergency Plan
Make sure you have a written plan for emergencies your care provider can follow when needed. Having this plan will greatly reduce the stress you feel for not being there when an emergency happens. This plan should include advance directive and power of attorney for medical and financial decisions that might need to be made. A list of contacts for doctors, pharmacies, and lawyers should be included as well. In addition to this plan, ear mark some money for last minute travels and let your employer know you might need to take some time off soon.
Find the Right People
Since you can’t be there, assemble a team of people you trust to take care of your loved one’s needs. Create a list of local friends and family members who can help check in on your loved one from time to time. See if they would also be willing to meet with healthcare providers to ensure your loved one is getting the best possible care.
When you’re caring long-distance, the few moments of in person time is incredibly valuable. To make the most of every visit it’s best to talk to the healthcare provider before visiting to get an update on the condition of the loved one. Also ask if there are any appointments that will need to happen while you’re visiting. While you’re there try to take inventory of supplies in the house and double check that all bills are being paid. It’s also important to be intentional about assessing the needs of your loved one to see if their care program needs to be adjusted.
Providing end of life care via long-distance is never easy, but you can make it better. One of the best ways to facilitate long-distance care is to partner with an experienced hospice care facility like Cura-HPC. Our staff will guide you through this process and help make this difficult time easier.