Assisted Living At Home - Providing Long Distance Care for Loved Ones

Assisted Living At Home - Providing Long Distance Care for Loved Ones

Thank you for the privilege of your time in reading the ASSISTED LIVING AT HOME advice column.

This column supports the ever-changing needs of caregiving families. I am a geriatric care manager, nurse navigator, and expert in chronic illness care at home. Weekly, I answer questions and provide recommendations about eldercare.

My past post was about incontinence. A woman was asked to move into an assisted living facility because the family did not know that there are solutions to incontinence. This week is about a daughter named Katy from Florida. Her dad lives in Oregon, has incontinence and memory loss, and Katy, like many long-distance family caregivers, thinks that it is time to move into an assisted living facility. The problem is that Katy can’t be here, nor can she get here (COVID restrictions) to do the legwork and paperwork needed to move him, and, in the meantime, he needs around-the-clock care. What could Katy do?

HERE IS MY ANSWER TO KATY: Long-distance caregiving is complex. Here are four things you could do.

  1. Request a free level of care assessment from the area agency on aging to determine exactly how much care is needed. Assisted living facilities do not offer 24-hour care. There is 24 hours of supervision available, but your dad must be able to care for himself. If your dad prefers to stay at home, then consider COMFORT MAKERS unique program called ASSISTED LIVING AT HOME. It is around-the-clock care that costs $19 per hour, and there are grants available for families that qualify.

  2. Ask the doctor for a physical. Sometimes, an infection or depression could cause an older person to have symptoms that look like worsening dementia. The right diagnosis and treatment could make a difference.

  3. We can also ship samples of TRANQUILITY undergarments to him. These special undergarments prevent urine odor, reduce and prevent UTls, keeps a person dry, they don’t leak, and are more affordable than depends.

  4. Consider for free long-distance family caregiver education and resources.

A move might not be necessary. I am available to help regarding your father’s care. Just call or email me. 503-369-2460,

– Katie