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5 Common Emotions Long-Distance Caregivers Experience

By Debbie Waddell, 10:30 am on

Being a long-distance caregiver can be an overwhelming experience. Providing practical help and support from miles away can feel difficult, especially if your senior loved one is living with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another serious condition. Long-distance caregiving can elicit different emotions. Here are 5 common emotions experienced by long-distance caregivers and some tips on how to manage them. 

1. Guilt

Guilt is perhaps the most common emotion experienced by long-distance caregivers. They feel guilty when they can’t be with their senior loved ones, whenever they forget to call or Skype, or when they’re not working hard enough to give their parents the care they need. When you start to feel guilty, pause, take a deep breath, and come up with practical solutions to alleviate your guilt. If you want to maintain a stronger relationship with your senior loved one, schedule time every week to call, email, or Skype. If you’re worried your parent isn’t getting the help he or she needs, hire an in-home caregiver.

If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an in-home care provider Placer County families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

2. Sadness

For long-distance caregivers, sadness is often a part of the emotional equation. It’s difficult to watch from afar as a senior loved one has difficulty aging in place independently. To assuage feelings of sadness, try to reach out to your loved one as often as possible. Hearing your loved one’s voice, seeing his or her face, and knowing he or she is doing well is a great way to maintain a positive outlook on the situation. 

3. Doubt

You might question whether you’re choosing the right specialist or the best in-home caregiver. The ideal way to get rid of doubt is by tackling each issue individually. You can do things like coordinate medical appointments, manage household bills, and take care of legal paperwork. By tackling practical problems head on, and learning all you can about a given situation, your doubt may start to dissipate. 

Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Placer County families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.

4. Anxiety

It’s natural to feel nervous about a long-distance senior loved one. Even if you take every precaution imaginable, you’re likely to be afflicted by anxiety from time to time. When you start feeling nervous, try to remember all the ways you’ve already helped your loved one. It may also be helpful to check in with your loved one and ask how you can make his or her life easier.

5. Exhaustion

Fatigue is fairly common among long-distance caregivers. When you start to feel exhausted, you shouldn’t feel like you’re failing your senior loved one. Instead, take some time to relax and recharge. Take a yoga class, go for a walk in the park, or go to a movie with a friend. Taking some personal time is an essential part of being a family caregiver.

Consider taking a break from your caregiving duties and hiring a professional caregiver. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Placer County Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. Call us at 916.226.3737 to learn about our premier in-home care plans.