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Caregiving From a Distance

Dec 22, 2020 7:00:00 AM

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, there are roughly 10-14 million long-distance family caregivers in the United States alone. Long distance caregiving is defined as anyone who lives over an hour away. Roughly 3-6 million of those long-distance caregivers reside over 450 miles away. As you can image, that can put a lot of emotional and financial strain on long distance caregivers.

The Cost of Long-Distance Caregiving

Caring for an aging loved one who lives more than an hour away can be very expensive. The average cost for long-distance caregivers is about $8,728 a year. Break that down into months, and that equates to another mortgage payment for some. For those who travel by car, that is extra gas, plus the wear and tear on the car. For caregivers who live out of state, not only the cost of flights, but the health implications of airplane travel can take its toll.

COVID-19 and Long-Distance Care

The pandemic has made it especially difficult for long-distance caregivers to look after loved ones. Travel restrictions have made it tough for caregivers to get to those in need. Plus, caregivers need to be extra cautious about potentially passing COVID-19 to those they care for. With these unique challenges, plus the financial and emotional stress of long distance-caregiving, what are some possible solutions for potential caregivers?

PERS for Long-Distance Caregiving

When caregivers can’t be there, a PERS device can provide a safety net of 24/7 available emergency assistance. Loved ones and caregivers can have the device set up so they receive text message alerts when the device’s battery is low or off. Caregivers can also be notified if the PERS device was used in the event of an emergency, keeping them in the loop.

PERS devices aren’t limited to the home either. Seniors who still have the ability to leave their home can remain protected with a mPERS device. These devices can use cellular coverage as well as GPS to assist seniors outside the home if and when they need it.

That covers the travel portion of long-distance caregiving, but what about the financial aspect? Purchasing and keeping a PERS device operational is far less expensive than the total cost of long-distance caregiving per year. For instance, a PERS device can cost anywhere from $15-$50 a month for service. Add up both figures over a year and that’s $180 on the low end and $600 on the high-end respectively. That’s roughly 7% of the estimated average cost for long-distance caregivers. That can help caregivers substantially with the financial burden of helping a loved one.

As a dealer, you might not have recognized the travel and financial implications of long-distance caregiving. Please use this information to show your customers that there is a solution that can help alleviate some of the burdens that come with long-distance caregiving.

Feel free to share these valuable tips and insights on assessing the health needs of our aging loved ones throughout the holiday season. Each of these articles will be made available through our website’s resource center, along with any important product updates or announcements for you through our dealer portal.

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