Monday, January 17, 2011
Long Distance Caregiving
A recent survey by the National Alliance for Caregiving found that despite the distance, three-fourths of caregivers help with activities like transportation, shopping, managing finances or cooking. They spend, on the average, 22 hours a month on this. Most caregivers are able to visit their loved ones at least once a month, although budgeting for these trips may become difficult.
Long-distance caregiving can be complicated and demanding. Almost a quarter of the long-distance caregivers are the primary or only caregiver. Eighty percent of distance caregivers work full- or part-time.
This kind of workload affects both home and work life. A third of caregivers missed days of work to take care of these duties. About 44% changed their work schedules and 25% come in late or leave early. Both men and women caregivers were likely to re-arrange their work schedules, take an unpaid leave, or consider changing employers, although women are more likely to miss work or go from full time to part time work
How do long-distance caregivers manage? Usually with support from others, particularly a spouse, as well as other family members, friends, and neighbors. Support from employers is also very helpful. Not surprisingly, about half of long-distance caregivers are helping another family member who is providing daily care (National Alliance for Caregiving and Zogby International, 2004).