Long Distance Caregiving Resources
I was looking online for long distance caregiving resources and tips as the challenges can be large when you can’t see your loved one often. It’s tough balancing the needs and wants of a loved one who desires to stay where they have made their life for so many years; you can’t blame them though and you want to make sure you give them the best way to live their life out to its end.
For my grandmother that meant staying in the town she had been in for the last 70+ years. But with dementia worsening, my brother and I needed to make some decisions about a place where she could live without the threat of an accident happening. We found a wonderful place that would work, but we can’t get out there to physically check on her often.
The Alzheimer’s Association has some good information in this article on their site. I wish I had seen this about 7-8 years ago and that we could have started to plan then for what is happening today. Gramma is doing well, but it would have been great to line up resources, and get decisions made when she was able to make those decisions for herself. Senior centers and agencies on aging can really help align people and volunteers who might be willing to spend some time with those who may not benefit from regular visitation that local families can often provide.
Here’s another article on AARP’s website dealing with long distance caregiving.
Toddler Nighttime Restlessness and Anxiety
Our eldest girl (3 years), has started to have some anxiety at night - largely focused on wondering where “mommy and daddy” went when we closed the door. At times this anxiety can get VERY vocal and other times its little whispers (are you here…?). It’s hard, because there are moments when you’re sympathetic, and other moments when you want to tear your hair out after going back in or answering her through the monitor every 30 seconds for 30-45 minutes…When the crying gets too loud, its a visceral shrill that rakes your patience over the coals and of course wakes up her sister…
So recently we have been looking up some different sites on what could be happening. My wife found a couple of articles on anxioustoddlers.com. I talked with my mom to see if she remembered what it was like when I was a kid, but as you get further away from things, sometimes these types of issues don’t remain in our memories (hence a look at how “important” this likely is in the long run). These articles though provided some guidance and I am hopeful that I can control the frustration a bit more and rely more on patience and compassion…but perhaps also help my girls understand signs to look at me when I might be getting past my threshold ;)
There are some good tips for setting up an optimal room to allow for sleeping (tonight I actually hang out with her a little in a quiet way - the loud screaming didn’t happen when I left, and we were able to calm her down through the monitor). The other good news is that my wife and I are both very confident in our approaches, even if we lose our patience occasionally. For the most part we do a good job of letting the kids know they are safe and that we are not worried. Our faith also helps as the girls understand they are loved by more than just “us”. They have a support network here in the house, within our family and friends and of course in the etherial. The latter really seemed to have an impact tonight and hopefully we’ll see some continuation of this success so that this fear disappears just like the sleep training helped them sleep through the night when they were younger.