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When family care givers live far away

One way many families provide enjoyable end-of-life years for loved ones is by providing in-family care giving. This means that when someone reaches an age and physical capability level where they are no longer able to take care of themselves, family members might move that person into their home. They might also live near the person, so they can check in on him or her on a regular basis.

But what happens if you, the family care giver, live a good distance from your loved one? If he or she is not ready to enter a nursing home or assisted living facility, but does require some help with daily living activities, what can you do?

One thing you can do is ensure the home is safe and appropriately modified for the person's activity level. This could include installing ramps to complement exterior stairs, installing safety equipment and railings in bathrooms or providing your loved one with a medical call service.

Next, you might consider what type of assistance is needed on a regular basis. Does your loved one need help daily to handle life activities such a cooking or bathing? Home nursing and aide services are available, and you can choose from all-day service or services that provide assistance at certain times of day.

Perhaps your loved one simply needs assistance getting out of the home to doctor's appointments or to shop. Community resources often provide some help with such issues and your loved one's insurance might even provide for medical transport.

Understanding your loved one's needs and options can help you create a viable plan of care. Working with a care planning attorney can help you understand how various insurance plans and other tools can play a role in making such care possible.

Source: National Caregivers Library, "Homecare from a Distance," accessed Feb. 12, 2016

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