Long-distance caregivers need support too, and here’s why


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.

Other resources available to support caregivers – long-distance and otherwise – include the following:

·         National Institute on Aging Information Center

P.O. Box 8057
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8057
1-800-222-2225 (toll-free)
1-800-222-4225 (TTY/toll-free)

·         Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center

P.O. Box 8250
Silver Spring, MD 20907-8250
1-800-438-4380 (toll-free)

·         Administration on Aging

Washington, DC 20201

·         American Geriatrics Society

Foundation for Health in Aging
Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 801
New York, NY 10118
1-800-563-4916 (toll-free)

·         ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center

800 Eastowne Drive, Suite 105
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
1-919-490-5577 (TDD)

·         BenefitsCheckUp


·         Caregiver Action Network

10400 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 500
Kensington, MD 20895-3944
1-800-896-3650 (toll-free)

·         Caregiver Resource Directory Beth Israel Medical Center

The Family Caregiver Program
First Avenue at 16th Street
New York, NY 10003

·         Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850
1-800-633-4227 (toll-free)
1-800-486-2048 (TTY/toll-free)

·         Children of Aging Parents

P.O. Box 167
Richboro, PA 18954
1-800-227-7294 (toll-free)

·         Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Benefits Administration Veterans Health Administration

810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
VA benefits:
1-800-827-1000 (toll-free)
1-800-829-4833 (TDD/toll-free)
To speak with a healthcare benefits counselor:
1-877-222-8387 (toll-free)

·         Eldercare Locator

1-800-677-1116 (toll-free)

·         Family Caregiver Alliance

180 Montgomery Street, Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94104
1-800-445-8106 (toll-free)

·         Family Caregiving 101


·         Hospice Foundation of America

1710 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

·         National Adult Day Services Association

1421 East Broad Street
Suite 425
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526
1-877-745-1440 (toll-free)

·         National Alliance for Caregiving

4720 Montgomery Lane, 2nd Floor
Bethesda, MD 20814

·         National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers

3275 West Ina Road, Suite 130
Tucson, AZ 85741

·         National Association of Social Workers

750 First Street, NE, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20002-4241

·         National Center on Elder Abuse c/o Center for Community Research and Services

University of Delaware
297 Graham Hall
Newark, DE 19716

·         National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

1731 King Street, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22314
1-800-658-8898 (toll-free)

·         National Institutes of Health

9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
1-301-402-9612 (TTY)

·         National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus


·         National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center

1828 L Street, NW, Suite 801
Washington, DC 20036

·         PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly)


·         Partnership for Prescription Assistance

1-888-477-2669 (toll-free)

·         SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program)


·         Visiting Nurse Associations of America

900 19th Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006

·         Well Spouse Association

63 West Main Street, Suite H
Freehold, NJ 07728
1-800-838-0879 (toll-free)