Long Distance Caregiving: How To Handle the Stress

“I don’t know how this happened,” Jessica said. “One day, my husband’s mother was just fine. And then we turned around, and all at once, she’s gotten old. It was like the blink of an eye. She had a rough winter, with a severe respiratory infection, and in the spring, she fell and broke her hip.”

Complicating the situation is the fact that Jessica and her husband Steve live quite a distance from his mother’s Massachusetts home. “If the traffic is with us, we can get to Mom’s place in a little over three hours,” she explained. “If the traffic’s not with us – and the Beltway can get crazy! – it’s more like five or even six hours.” Knowing that her mother-in-law might need assistance at any moment is very stressful for Jessica. “You want to be able to be there,” she said, “and that’s not always possible.”

One way to handle the stress of long-distance caregiving is to work with a local aide or caregiving companion who can assist your parent or other loved one with the everyday tasks of daily living. Regular communication with an objective professional who sees what the day-to-day situation is with your relative makes it easier to maintain awareness and perspective. “Simply knowing what was going on helped me handle the stress better,” Jessica reported. “And I have to say that having the Bruno Stairlift installed was another positive move.”

Rather than risk having her mother-in-law experience another fall down the stairs, Jessica had a Bruno Stairlift put in. “Mom hasn’t had the easiest time recovering from her hip injury,” Jessica explained. “We’re not taking any chances.” By providing a safe way to go upstairs, the stairlift reduces the risk of re-injury. “Mom would never admit to this, of course, but she was nervous about using the stairs,” Jessica said. “Now, everyone is happier.”