How to Manage Long-Distance Caregiving

Dealing with the Guilt

When you are caring for a parent who lives far from you, you may experience feelings of guilt and helplessness at times. Even if you're not physically caring for your elder parent, you are still coping with the personal issues associated with his or her care. Keeping in regular touch with your parent by phone, e-mail, or letters can help alleviate your feelings of guilt in not being present.

"Even if your loved one is long distance, you should be joining local support groups," says Marcell. "There are also great online groups where you can find solutions and support. Solutions present themselves when you start talking to people who are in your same position."

It's important to remember to take care of yourself. It isn't easy caring for a loved one long distance. Don't forget that you are not alone. Learn and use coping skills offered through support and counseling. And don't forget to give yourself a break.

To find a care manager in your loved one's area, contact the National Association of Geriatric Care Managers at


Originally published for, June 2004.