Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Long-Distance Caregiving: More Stressful Than Local Caregiving

In an article for Oncology Nursing Forum, assistant professor of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, Polly Mazanec, "found that long-distance caregivers were much more anxious than local caregivers, who could see what was happening (on a more frequent basis)."

That's because they often feel guilty, very disconnected and out of the loop.

Ms Mazanec feels there are ways to alleviate this distress by having the health care team keep them better informed through phone calls and email. Even though these family members can't provide hands-on care, "there's no reason why they can't be active participants in the care."


Marti said...

Boy, I'm going to have to disagree with that statement. My in-laws live near us and dh's brother lives over an hour away. Both dh & I are near the breaking point from dealing with every problem that comes up, while bil only gets worked up about his dad when he is here one day a month.

Ms. 50something said...

It doesn't seem fair, does it. I, too, am the first person on-call. I feel I make it easier for the rest of the family because they know I'm closest and am willing to take on the responsibility (burden?). I think it all depends on the people involved and how much they really want to be involved but can't because of distance and circumstance. Actually, I'm with you and question this info. But it makes me think! Thanks for commenting.

Diane J Standiford said...

Well, I am the adult child who lives 2,500 miles away from mom with Alz, older brother lived minutes from her, but he was NOT "there" for her at all. I had to get a cousin (bless her heart) on board to help MY, OUR mother. I was very stressed. My oldest brother lives 2,000 miles away, is rich, and has not called mom ONCE in many years, never helped her finacially either. I had less $$ than both of them, I have multiple sclerosis, but ALWAYS sent her money. (She lived in low income housing)(The closest brother lives in a million dollar house!!) Finally she is safe in a nursing home, very close to that one brother, but do I feel more stress than either of my siblings? YOU BET. It all depends on the situation. (I certainly understand what you and Marti are saying, but I think the report leaves out the implied desire of the distant caregiver to BE closer and carry any task to help. My mother deserves better.)