Long Distance Care Givers Receive Help with Aging Parents
Living in a different city or state — miles from aging parents — can be very difficult. Keeping in touch by telephone and making long trips to help parents or aging relatives with their needs can be time consuming and not nearly as effective as being available full time in person.
Mark Sessions spent two years juggling his restaurant business with multiple daily phone calls to his elderly parents, checking on their needs and answering their questions. Family vacations were spent traveling the 500 miles to his parent’s home to personally take care of home maintenance and provide health care visits to their doctor. During his last visit, Mark noticed his father had difficulty walking and his mother was confused as to which medications she was to take and at what time. This alarming change in his parent’s condition concerned Mark that his parents’ care needs required more than frequent phone calls and vacation visits. Running his business and handling his parent’s long distance care was now becoming very challenging.
According to a report by the Alzheimer’s Association of Los Angeles & Riverside, California, there are approximately 3.3 million long distance caregivers in this country with an average distance of 480 miles from the people they care for. The report also states that 15 million days are missed from work each year because of long distance care giving. Seven million Americans provide 80% of the care to ailing family members and the number of long distance caregivers will DOUBLE over the next 15 years.
Long Distance Caregiver Project – Alzheimer’s Association LA & Riverside, Los Angeles, CA (May 15, 2002, National Web Seminar by Judith Delaney, MFT, Clinical Coordinator)
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