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Dear Friends

long-distance caregiving

Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers
Visiting Mom or Dad This Summer

Week of June 3, 2019
Prayer Requests

Dear Friends,

Your friends, neighbors and co-workers may be talking about upcoming vacation travel plans, but if you're a "long-distance caregiver" your time off may mean heading out to spend time with an aging parent who lives in another part of the country.

These are some suggestions to consider:

--Plan ahead. Maybe you want to call Dad’s doctor and others working with him and—with your parent’s permission—arrange appointments to discuss how he’s doing. If possible, include your father in any meetings.

--Be prepared for medical questions. When you do meet the doctor, have your list of questions and concerns ready, based on the what Mom has said—and not said—during your telephone conversations, on what you have observed during this visit with her, and on the most current assessment.

--Don’t panic. You may encounter what seem like drastic changes, including a great deal of deterioration. Because you haven’t witnessed those changes on a day-by-day or week-by-week basis, the difference between now and six months ago may seem more startling to you than to your parent or a sibling who has been around more frequently. Their failure to mention these changes to you does not mean they have been hiding them from you, they simply may not see them. You each have a unique perspective; all are helpful when trying to make an accurate evaluation.

--Don’t charge into town with all the answers. This will often meet stiff resistance, not just from Dad but from your siblings who may live closer and also have been playing a role in taking care of him. Ask how you can help and offer suggestions. Work with your father and siblings.

--Think small. Prioritize the needs. Begin with suggestions that are least threatening and that allow your parent the greatest amount of independence. You are not going to fix all the problems in one visit. Give yourself time. Becoming agitated with yourself, your parent or your siblings only gets in the way.

Your role is something new not just to you but to our society. In the past, most extended family members lived close to one another and those who did move far away returned infrequently, if at all. Modern means of transportation and communication have made our world smaller and the role of long-distance caregiver possible.

You can read more about this topic here. It's one of the many fliers that are available on our CatholicCaregivers.com site.

You remain in my prayers,

Bill

- - -

This week we're so pleased to welcome Sharon S. of New Jersey, William C. or Arizona and David C. of North Carolina as the newest members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. Please keep them and their intentions in your prayers. They have promised to pray for you and yours.

And again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver! (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com.) You can find out more about becoming a member here.

No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).

You can:

sign up on-line here

or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)

or print and mail an application form.

God bless you!

Bill

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Welcome to YourAgingParent.com

This site is designed for family caregivers.

It's for those who are helping a:

  • spouse
  • aging parent
  • child with special needs
  • sibling with special needs
  • family member or
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Here you'll find spirituality, information and resources for Catholic caregivers.

All our material and resources are free.


"Among Friends"
newsletter:
Winter 2018


Visit our sister sites:

--Friends of St. John
the Caregiver

--CatholicCaregivers.com


"The Basics
of Catholic Caregiving"


"A Caregiver's Prayer"


USCCBThe Friends of St. John the Caregiver was chosen to be part of the USCCB's 2007-2008 Respect Life Program.


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