Long-distance caregivers are just as likely to experience the same positive and negative emotions as primary caregivers. Among the negative feelings that caregiving from a distance can elicit are frustration, anger, guilt, anxiety, and worry. In a it’s funny – not funny ha ha, but still –; primary caregivers may think that long-distance caregivers get off easy, but the latter may actually envy the former because they get to actually, physically be there for their aging and/or sick parent. As it turns out, being far away adds rather than subtract to a caregiver’s concerns. They may feel guilty for not being closer, for not doing enough, for not spending enough time with their loved ones. As a result they may try to overcompensate and end up burned out because they try to do too much, and that’s no good for anybody.
Additionally, long-distance caregivers have established a life of their own away from their childhood home. As such they have people like spouses, children, friends, coworkers, and colleagues who count on them. Therefore, they have the added worry about taking time off work, affording travel, and being away from the family they have started. It’s true that long-distance caregivers may not be as physically and emotionally exhausted and depleted as the primary caregiver, but they also need to take a break sometimes, rest, get enough sleep, and talk about their problems; to relatives, to friends, and especially to other long-distance caregivers who may be going – or have gone – through the same. You may find these kindred spirits in support groups, whether online or in your own community.