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Do-It-Yourself Long-Distance Caregiving

By HERWriter
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Caregiving related image Photo: Getty Images

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, "adult children who care for their aging parents live an average of 450 miles away."

The caregiving system and its sources are extremely fragmented. There is not a one-stop shop or organization to gather all the appropriate information needed to make key decisions regarding caregiving.

If you are considering possible caregiving options for an elderly loved one, one of the first things you need to consider is securing a geriatric assessment. The price of a geriatric assessment ranges between $100 and $500. During the assessment, an assessment professional identifies possible issues your elderly loved one may be demonstrating. Those issues may include:

• Does my parent need help writing checks and balancing his or her checkbook?
• Does my parent need help shopping and cooking meals?
• Is my parent showing signs of dementia or depression?
• Is my parent forgetting to take medication or missing doctor’s appointments?
• Does my parent need assistance driving to appointments, stores, church or other activities?

A hospital discharge planner or your loved one’s doctor can recommend a professional who conducts geriatric assessments. Also, the following organizations can recommend someone to conduct a geriatric assessment:

The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers

Local Area Agency on Aging
Enter your zip code in the "Eldercare locator" to locate the nearest agency on aging.

Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Once you receive the results of the geriatric assessment, you will need to discuss possible caregiving options for your loved one with other key family members. If you decide to coordinate the all the care yourself, you will need to hire a team of medical specialists, a nutritionist, housekeeper and other professionals (personal organizer, driver, home-care aids, etc.).

Most importantly, you will need to manage and monitor the team of providers.

Add a Comment1 Comments


Very informative article. Thank you for all the tips. Wish I had this article last year when we needed to make decisions. This is a very difficult time for most famailies. Especially when there is distance involved.


May 29, 2012 - 1:36pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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