Family Caregiver Alliance has released its new Handbook for Long-Distance Caregivers. Described as an essential guide for families and friends caring for ill or elderly loved ones, the booklet is a virtual roadmap for families new to the challenges of caring for those affected by chronic or disabling health conditions that threaten their independence.
"Often," explained FCA Executive Director Kathy Kelly, "families don’t really know where to start when a parent or other family member becomes frail or has cognitive problems from Alzheimer’s disease or stroke. It’s especially difficult when they live far away. Our mobile society has left families separated—sometimes by thousands of miles.
"As our parents age, they need more care, yet there may appear to be no one nearby to see that they receive it. And we certainly don’t want to place people prematurely in institutional settings. "In fact, there is help available. Families just need to know where to look. This is where they can start," Kathy said.
The Handbook takes a step-by-step approach to:
- assessing the care situation;
- developing a care team;
- holding a family meeting;
- accessing community organizations and private agencies;
- locating reliable online information on concerns such as paying for care, eligibility for public benefits, finding volunteers to help, making decisions about relocation, and dealing with driving and dementia.
The information-packed 20-page booklet is available free on the FCA website. It is also available in print by sending $5 to FCA Publications, 180 Montgomery St., Ste. 1100, San Francisco, CA 94104.
We’re grateful to the Archstone Foundation for funding the guide, a project of the National Center on Caregiving at Family Caregiver Alliance.
E-mail to a Friend