When you’re taking care of your senior from farther away, you might feel as if your emotional responses are a little more exaggerated or stronger. The reasons for that vary from one situation to another, but you can absolutely take some steps to bring everything onto a more even keel.
There’s a Lot Involved in Being a Caregiver
You already know that there’s a lot to do when you’re a caregiver, but sometimes you might find yourself comparing your to-do list and your situation to someone else as a way to determine what’s “normal.” The truth is that everyone’s normal looks slightly different. Your elderly family member may only need a certain amount of help right now, from you or from anyone else. What you’re doing to meet her needs right now is what’s important.
Redefine What the Word Means to You
If your definition of “caregiver” is strict and rigid, you might be having more difficulty with being a long-distance caregiver. You can be a highly effective caregiver, especially with hands-on help from senior care services, even if you and your senior live far apart. It’s not about the care that you literally offer her in person. Being a caregiver is about doing everything you can to meet her needs, even if you can’t physically be there in person.
No Matter Where You Are, You’re Doing a Lot
You’re doing a lot more as a caregiver than you believe you are, whether you’re living in the same house with your senior or whether you’re a long-distance caregiver. It’s difficult sometimes to accept that you’re still doing a lot to support your senior, no matter how much you’re doing. But that’s the reality. Comparing what you’re doing, or the amount of what you’re personally doing, to someone else is going to distort the situation for you.
Deal with the Emotions You’re Experiencing
When you find that you’re feeling guilty or inadequate or resentful about what you’re doing right now as a caregiver, stop and examine those feelings. By taking a closer look at those feelings and by processing them instead of shoving them aside, you’re giving yourself a chance to learn from what’s going on. That’s going to help you to make changes if those are necessary.
Being a long-distance caregiver doesn’t have to be an emotional rollercoaster for you or for your senior. Assess what you each need in order to feel secure and then put those solutions in place.