According to the National Institute on Aging (2017), a long – distance care giver is considered to be someone who is located an hour or more away from a person who needs care. There are many factors involved while determining the kind of care one can offer to an ailing or aging family member, or friend. They include: distance from the ailing person, flexibility of the care giver’s schedule, financial ability of the care giver and the aging person, presence of another care giver and the relationship between the care giver and the aging person. After considering the above factors, I decided to assume the role of Rebecca. In my opinion, Jill feels more comfortable speaking to her compared to Edward and Connie since she called her first to notify her of Grace’s pending departure to Colorado. Below is Rebecca’s letter addressed to her siblings, Edward and Connie.
I am writing with regards to mother’s ailing condition, with suggestions and recommendations on the action we should take as well as outlining what my personal contribution will be. As a nurse and an active hospice volunteer, I have had first – hand experience with these kinds of situations, which has widened my knowledge on the best way to offer long – distance care. To make you better understand my perspective, I have put together some facts about long – distance care outlined below:
- The National Institute on Aging (2017) states that all decisions on care giving should be centered on the aging person. We should schedule a meeting at a place where mum will feel most comfortable and let her air out her feelings, worries and priorities. Following what she says, we can adjust our duties and responsibilities to suit her recommendations. Therefore, I need you to let me know on which weekend you are available between 2nd April, and 9th April, 2017 for us to travel to Lexington.
- Aging persons adjust poorly to new environments (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016). Taking this into consideration, we should neither transfer mum to an assisted living facility nor have her live with one of us. Mother has lived in her Lexington house for fifty nine years. In addition, the house has plenty of memories of mum and dad, and those of our upbringing.
Therefore, we should remodel the house and make it easier for her to manage. For example, we should transfer her bedroom to the ground floor to limit her from climbing the stairs. We should also repaint the house to a colour that is calm and comforting. According to Resene (2015), softer shades of red and orange bring a sense of security and harmony to aging persons. I suggest Edward should handle the house renovations, taking all the above into consideration.
- Research by Checkovich & Stern (2002) found that aging persons always pretend to be alright. They lie about how they feel, especially when they think they will be a bother. Therefore, there should be someone watching her occasionally to always notify us of the actual circumstances of mother. Since I work nightshift, I can always drive to Lexington once in a week to check up on her during the day as well as purchase house supplies and medication for her.
In addition, we should contract the services of the local home care services centre to assign someone to always check up on mother on a daily basis and give me the daily updates.
- Lastly, I have gathered that family bonds have a huge impact on the well – being of aging people. Therefore, both of you should always bring your children to visit their grandmother at least once every month, and spend a day or two with her. In addition, we should all video call her at least once every week and update her on the children, work and our general well – being in order to make her feel valued and loved. I suggest Connie should purchase mother an iPad with internet connectivity, and show her how to use it, so that we can always be in constant touch.
I hope you will find my insight helpful. I am looking forward to hearing from you. Pass my love to your children for me.
P.S. Checkovich, T.J. & Stern, S. (2002). Shared caregiving responsibilities of adult siblings with elderly parents. Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 37(3).
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016). Caregiving: Tips for long – distance caregivers. Retrieved from
National Institute on Aging. (2017). Long – Distance caregiving: Twenty questions and
answers. Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/long-distance-caregiving/getting-started#share
Resene. (2015). Colours for living and learning. Retrieved from: