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Caregiving for someone in your own city or home who lives with Alzheimer’s is challenging enough.

So how can you manage long-distance caregiving?

Here are 9 points to ease your worries and help smoothe the long-distance caring journey.

1. Provide a Cell Phone.

Plan on spending time explaining the phone’s features and programming some important numbers to speed-dial. Find the simplest, most user-friendly phone you can.

2. Stay In Touch

Stay in touch by sending your loved one digital movies of yourself. And set aside a time each day or week for phone calls.

3. How to talk on the phone with someone with Alzheimer’s.

Identify yourself, the person with Alzheimer’s may recognize your voice, but may not be able to match it to your name.

Keep it short, limit phone calls to a minute or two and say something positive: “I was thinking of you and wanted to call and say hello.” Stay simple, avoid open-ended questions. “Did you have a good lunch? I heard you ate salmon.”

4. Take full advantage of your visit.

Check to see how your loved one is doing. Are there piles of laundry and unopened mail lying around? Has he or she been ignoring personal hygiene?

5. Check for potential hazards.

Check for unlocked cupboards full of medications, cleaning liquids and solvents; or loose rugs that could contribute to falls.

6. Keep a record of your older relative’s Information.

Things like social security number, bank account, credit card numbers, insurance policies, deeds, investments, and wills.

7. Consider hiring a geriatric care manager.

To locate one of these professionals, contact the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.

8. Take leave from work.

If the demands become overwhelming, you may be eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave as authorized by the Family and Medical Leave Act.

9. Read Books.

Get a copy of So Far Away: Twenty Questions and Answers About Long-Distance Caregiving, a very useful guide produced by the National Institute on Aging.

Thank you to and Susan Grimbly for this content!

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