You know Mom needs help at home when you get a call from her long-time neighbor expressing her concerns. You worry about Grandpa now that Alzheimer’s seems to be interfering with his ability to manage daily tasks. You toss and turn at night fretting about your older sister, whose hoarding spiraled out of control after the death of her husband.
Unfortunately, you live hundreds of miles away from the person who is weighing on your mind. Sound familiar?
It probably does, since new estimates from the National Institute on Aging cite that nearly 7 million Americans are serving as long-distance caregivers for aging parents or other senior relatives, as per this recent Yahoo! News article.
Being a long-distance caregiver is extremely difficult, although sandwich generation caregivers who do the heavy lifting every day may beg to differ. In the article, Kay Branch, who lives in Alaska and is coordinating care for her parents in Florida, sums it up this way: “You just want to be in two places at once.”
Although the internet has created opportunities for caregivers to find assisted living from afar, to connect their parents with local resources like a Meals on Wheels program, or to coordinate doctor’s appointments, making a senior care decision from miles away isn’t ideal…but it is clearly the new normal.