Long Distance Caregiving Makes Me Feel Guilty

National Institute on Aging

You might think that being far away gives you some immunity from feeling overwhelmed by what is happening to your parent—but long-distance caregivers report that this is not so. Although you may not feel as physically exhausted and drained as the primary, hands-on caregiver, you may still feel worried and anxious. Many long-distance caregivers describe feeling terribly guilty about not being there, about not being able to do enough or spend enough time with the parent. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can given the circumstances, and you can only do what you can do.

If you are like most long-distance caregivers, you already have many people who rely on you: Your spouse, children, perhaps even grandchildren, as well as friends, coworkers, and colleagues. Adding one more “to-do” to your list may seem impossible.

You may find some consolation or comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Many people find that support groups are a great resource and a way to learn caregiving tips and techniques that work—even from a distance. Others find the camaraderie and companionship helpful. Some enjoy meeting monthly or weekly, while others find what they need in online support groups. The Eldercare Locator may be able to help you find a local group. The Resources section of this booklet has details on how to contact organizations that may have helpful information.

©2007 National Institute of Aging

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