Looking after a person with dementia can be challenging – and if you care for someone from a distance, you may experience a different set of challenges. For example, you may not be able to pop in regularly or respond to issues quickly.
Nevertheless, you can still play an important part in supporting the person you care for.
These tips may help the person you care for live safely and comfortably at home if you’re too far away to visit on a regular basis.
Visit – or arrange for someone else to visit – the person’s home to identify any hazards, or anything that could help them live more independently
Ask the local Social Services team to carry out a Needs Assessment to identify what equipment and support the person might need at home
Try to build a network of local people to give you updates about the person, such as neighbours, other relatives and friends
Find out if someone locally, such as a trusted neighbour, could keep a spare key
Consider installing a key safe in case emergency access is needed
Consider using the Lions Club ‘Message in a bottle’ scheme – a bottle containing information about the person that is kept in their fridge so emergency services can access this information quickly
When you visit, take stock of how well the person is coping – for example, does their condition seem to have deteriorated? Have they lost weight? Are there signs that they are neglecting themselves or their home?
Look into signing up for the Herbert Protocol – a national scheme that allows the police, Social Services and other local services to share useful information about the person if they go missing
To speak to a dementia specialist Admiral Nurse about caring from a distance or any other aspect of dementia, please call our free Helpline on 0800 888 6678 (Monday-Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm, every day except 25th December) or email email@example.com.