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Balancing Act

Balancing Act Archives
August, 2006: Family Snack Smarts
July, 2006: Cooperative Co-parenting
June, 2006: Street Proofing Teens 101
May, 2006: Harmony is in season: Harmony is in season: Warm Weather Activities To Bring The Family Together
April, 2006: Caregiving: Sensible Steps To Success
March, 2006: Healthy Eating In A Fast Food World
February, 2006: Stress Busters to Stay Lighthearted
January, 2006: Brain Gain in Life's Later Years
December, 2005: Holiday Budget Planning
November, 2005: Combating Childhood Obesity
October, 2005: Eating Away at Colds and Flu
September, 2005: Avoiding the Aches of Osteoarthritis
August, 2005: Growing Older, Eating Wiser
July, 2005: Nutrition Tips for the Healthiest Summer Ever
June, 2005: Long-Term Care Facilities/Nursing Homes - How Do I Choose the Right One?
May, 2005: Nutrition and Your Baby: Introducing solid food to the menu
April, 2005: When Baby Comes Home For The First Time
March, 2005: Stepping into the Role of Stepparent
February, 2005: Pumping Fitness into Your Day
* January, 2005: Remedies for Financial Holiday Hangovers
* December, 2004: Time Out: Making the most of the holidays
* November, 2004: An Ounce of Prevention: Type 2 Diabetes
* October, 2004: Dealing with Peer Pressure
* September, 2004: Long Distance Caregiving
* August, 2004: The ‘Be-tween’ Transition, 2004
* July, 2004: Easing into summer vacation
* June, 2004: A family-friendly balance for working fathers
* May, 2004: Communication Tips to Help Young Minds Grow
* April, 2004: Tips for Making the Tax Season Less Taxing
* March, 2004: The Dieting Merry-Go-Round
* February, 2004: Keeping Your Financial Future in Check
* January, 2004: Here Comes the Flu
* December, 2003: Communicating with your Teen
* November, 2003: Eating for Energy
* October, 2003: Work-life Balance: Making it Work for You
* September, 2003: The Homework Zone
* August, 2003: Health Hints to Ease Your Family in to the Fall Season
* July, 2003: Stay Alert and Stay Safe - Streetproofing your kids
* June, 2003: Summer Activities for Stay-at-Home Kids
* May, 2003: Helping Older Relatives Stay Active
* April, 2003: Spring-cleaning: For the home, the family, and you
* March, 2003: Choosing a Summer Camp
* February, 2003: Baby couch potatoes: Tearing your kids away from the TV
* January, 2003: Resolution Solutions
* December, 2002: Holiday Stress Blasters
* November, 2002: Beating the Winter Blues
* October, 2002: Making the most of family mealtimes
* September, 2002: Generation Relations
* August 2002: Vacation Relaxation
* July 2002: Swimming Safety
* May 2002: Stuck in the Middle. The Sandwich Generation
* April, 2002: Supporting Your Child's Social Success
* March, 2002: After the Spring Break ... Take a Break For Yourself
* February, 2002: Keep those loving connections alive
* January, 2002: Ringing in a Balanced New Year
* December, 2001: Holiday Safety Tips
* November, 2001: It's Flu Season
* October, 2001: Halloween Safety Tips
* September, 2001: Back to school

The Balancing Act. Work/Life balance tips Printer Friendly Version
Long Distance Caregiving
Caring for Older Relatives from Across the Miles

It’s not uncommon in today’s world that family members live hundreds of miles apart.
And as family members spread out farther away from one another, many adult children are coming face-to-face with the realities of long-distance caregiving for their older parents or relatives.

For these families, the distance between older relatives and adult children can create unique challenges in providing care. Long distance caregivers face the same emotional and financial concerns as those who live close by, but they can also carry additional feelings of guilt and anxiety at not being able to ‘be there’ for loved ones.

However, caregiving can work across distances. The key is to plan ahead and be organized. Below are a few tips for long-distance caregivers to help make this challenge more manageable:

Involve relatives in the decision-making. It’s usually best for everyone if your relative actively participates in the development of a caregiving plan. Try openly discussing with your relative, what his or her needs are and how you can work together to ensure that these needs are met. Show respect and acknowledge his or her input and wishes as part of the plan. This will ensure that everyone is comfortable with the results.

Plan regular check-in times. Establish a routine for telephone calls, e-mails or other forms of communication. Having regular and consistent communication is important for both you and your relative. This is your opportunity to share, ask questions, and stay ‘in the loop’ on what’s happening in your relative’s life.

Expect the unexpected. Plan ahead and take into account emergencies. Reserve vacation days should you need to travel on a moment’s notice, set extra funds aside for emergency home care services if needed, and have a directory of reliable providers and resources easily accessible to you. If you wait for a crisis and are forced into quick decisions, you will limit the options available to you.

Connect with local friends and neighbours. Create a list of people in your relative’s life who may be able to assist you. Keep their phone numbers and addresses updated on a regular basis and contact them periodically. These individuals can keep you informed, serve as an accessible and familiar resource for your relative and be an excellent point of contact for you in case of an emergency.

Keep track of important information. Make a list of where your relative keeps important papers such as his or her insurance policies, bank account numbers, investments, living will and power of attorney (for legal, financial, and health care purposes). It’s also beneficial to have a list of physicians that your relative is seeing, and any hospitals or clinics that are involved in his or her medical care. If you can, note any medications that your relative is taking (including frequency and dosage) and any allergies or other medical conditions he or she may suffer from.

Seek personal support. Caregiving can be difficult, especially from a distance, and some days things may not go as well as you had hoped. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to someone — whether it‘s a close friend, a spouse, a support group, or a dependant care specialist — you can receive the help that you need to handle challenging situations. You can also find great comfort and strength in knowing that you are not alone.

Need help balancing your dependant care needs? WS Family Matters™ can help. It’s a resource and referral service that is geared toward enhancing the quality of family life. Call your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to see if you are eligible for WS Family Matters at 1 800.387.4765 for service in English, 1 800.361.5676 for service in French.

This newsletter is meant for informational purposes only and may not necessarily represent the views of individual organizations.

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© 2005 WarrenShepell