AUSTIN, Texas. Now, more than ever, families live far apart, with loved ones spread across the country. This can create unique challenges for families when a loved one is personally injured in a car or truck accident. However, according to the New York Times, researchers are looking more closely at the effectiveness of distance caregiving on patients. As more families live thousands of miles away from one another, more and more family members might be considered distance caregivers. Generally a person is considered a distance caregiver if they live 100 or more miles away from an ill or injured family member and are playing an active role in their medical care, decision-making, or are paying for medical expenses. The Times reports that there may be as many as 5 to 7 million distance caregivers in the U.S.
Distance caregivers might Skype into doctor’s appointments, or might speak to nurses and other caregivers on the phone rather than in person. Being a distance caregiver can be incredibly stressful. There might be less in the way of support and these caregivers may have to take more time off work if their loved one needs surgery or has an emergency.
According to the National Institute on Aging, long-distance caregivers might help a loved one with finances or help them pay medical bills; they may hire professional caregivers to help or care for their loved one, and they may also play the role of providing emotional support to other family members who are struggling after a loved one’s illness or injury. All of these roles can be costly, emotionally and financially.
Fortunately, there are more resources than ever available to long-distance caregivers. For example, if your loved one was hurt in a car or truck accident, you may be able to get assistance with medical bills by making an insurance claim or by making a claim against negligent parties. The Austin, Texas personal injury lawyers at the Robson Law Firm may be able to assist you with this process.
Long-distance caregivers are reminded to care for themselves. Recruit other family members who can share the role of caring for loved ones. Check in with the ill or injured family member regularly but you may also want to hire nurses or other social support services to provide additional assistance. Shared Google calendars with all caregivers can keep everyone coordinated.
Finally, it is important for long-distance caregivers to be realistic about what they can handle on their own. If your loved one was seriously injured in a car accident or is chronically ill, you’ll need to ask for support. Medical providers, social workers, nursing facilities, and other services can help take some of the burden off you.
If you are struggling because a loved one has suffered a sudden injury, you may have options to help you in your role as a long-distance caregiver. The Robson Law Firm are personal injury lawyers in Austin, Texas who work with families to help them get the support they need and deserve after a loved one has been seriously hurt in a crash.
Robson Law Firm
1114 Lost Creek Boulevard
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 345-8200