One of the most supportive things you can do as a remote caregiver is to offer the primary caregiver a break. Planning visits gives everyone something to look forward to and helps you stay in the loop.
- When you're planning visits, keep it simple and try to be consistent. Ask if it would be helpful to bring a meal to share and be mindful of any dietary or eating restrictions like low-sodium foods.
- Ask the person you're caring for what they like to do. Don't assume you know what they'd like to do, even if you're a close family member or friend. The most important thing is that it's low stress and helps you build connections so that when you're remote, you'll know what to ask about and can stay connected. Plan a drive or a walk, see a movie, visit a museum or garden. Check out local art studios or other types of classes the person you're caring for might enjoy. If they enjoy animals, consider visiting an animal shelter or zoo.
- If it's ok with everyone, you can also plan to be present via phone or video chat for appointments or meetings. Hearing health information firsthand can help build connections, keep you in the loop, and support both the person you're caring for and the primary caregiver.
Supporting the primary caregiver from afar can be challenging. Offering them breaks, even just for an afternoon, is a great way to spend time with the person they're caring for and helps to preserve the caregiver's mental and physical health.
NIH: Getting Started with Long Distance Caregiving