Long-distance caregivers are invaluable. They are relatives and friends who travel a significant distance to take care of loved ones. They ensure they get what they need, from regular physical help to ongoing emotional support.
We understand that all caregivers for cancer patients provide essential support to those going through a testing journey. Long-distance caregivers go the extra mile and show a strong dedication to helping. But these guardians from afar also need to take care of themselves along the way.
7 Tips For Long-distance Cancer Caregivers
The following tips aim to make lifestyles less complicated for long-distance caregivers of cancer patients.
Make the most of phone calls
Most caregivers who live away need to connect with their loved ones both through an audio or video call. But, being aware of the most convenient time for the affected person to take that call will make sure that your conversations are better. Speak to the local caregiver to check for an excellent time to call or go to the patient. Make a note of which topics your beloved likes to be asked about and which of them upset them.
If they prefer to talk about their cancer treatment process, you may freely ask them about the processes they’re undergoing. If that topic upsets them, you may try talking about ‘neutral’ issues. Example – familiar friends, other relatives or family members, the weather, shows on the television, sports activities etc.
Stick to what they’re comfortable with. If you have promised to call at a specific time, make sure you do. Set a reminder on your cellphone so you do not forget. The motive of your phone calls is to make them feel cherished. Avoid letting arguments take away the pleasure of those phone calls.
You can now get virtual copies of all experiment reports, tests and consultations. Keep a duplicate of these with you if possible. Let the local caretaker know that you can offer a backup copy if they have lost or misplaced any of these reports. Also, keep data of any persistent complaints about their fitness or if any side effects are disrupting their recovery. The local caretakers are frequently overwhelmed with all the matters they need to do for the patient.
Remember that your job is to assist the local caregiver and not make them feel incompetent. It constantly helps to be kind towards them as they’re the main caregivers handling the most significant share of the caregiving. It may be natural for them to miss out on a couple of things to which you may draw their attention.
Help organise finances
Often, arranging finances for the treatment can be the most disturbing aspect of a cancer journey. If that is true for your loved ones, you can consider supporting them find the funds. Options like crowdfunding, or loans, may also interest you.
Find local help
There can be elements of the treatment that cannot be controlled remotely. For example, chemotherapy sessions or pick-up and drop from doctor appointments. You will need to find neighbourhood friends and family members who can help you. Sometimes, it is probably overwhelming for you to manage all the information about the treatment by yourself.
Ask people who are close to help you with some of the tasks. You also can find expert home care alternatives that consist of nurses and domestic helpers to assist the patient with their daily tasks.
Prepare for travel
Sometimes, you will be required to travel to your beloved at short notice. This can help out with caregiving at domestic or in the hospital. Prepare yourself for this financially alongside mentally. Keep a spare bag of things ready, so you need not fear packing at the final minute.
Ask how you can help
If you’re uncertain how to help more, ask the affected person and the primary caregivers what you may do.
Check-in with yourself
Long-distance caregivers often face pressure and tension like primary, local caregivers. This thing is often unnoticed, and the outcome can be very damaging.
Remember that you are simply one person, and cancer is a powerful opponent for us all. Cancer isn’t fair, and until we remove it, we need to accept that it exists and do what can be done to help those suffering from it. Do the caregiving you can, then hand off the baton to the following person. Remember to take care of your physical, emotional and mental health as you take care of the cancer individual. That way you’ll be at your best for the patient — and that’s the best present you can give.
Who is a long-distance cancer caregiver?
A caregiver or family caregiver is anybody who provides unpaid help or arranges for service to a relative or friend. That’s because they have an illness or disability such as cancer.
What one must know about caring for the caregiver?
These caregivers often miss out on self-care opportunities and may experience adverse health consequences. So, we need to care for the caregiver.
How is Long-Distance Caregiving Different?
Long-distance caregivers may feel more able to gather information and assist with long-range plans unless it’s necessary to provide direct support. For obvious reasons, it’s difficult for a long-distance caregiver to be involved with day-to-day necessities.
What Support can a Long-Distance Caregiver Provide?
Many things can be done from afar to assist a loved one with cancer. It could be research and information gathering; coordinating and accessing services; assisting with decisions, and providing emotional support.