Long-Distance Caregiving: Dealing with Frustration and Guilt

 Caregiving, especially from a distance, is likely to bring out many different emotions. Feeling frustrated and angry with everyone, from the care recipient to the doctors, is a common experience. Anger could be a sign that you are overwhelmed or that you are trying to do too much.

Although they may not feel as physically exhausted and drained as the primary, hands-on caregiver, long-distance caregivers may still be worried and anxious. Sometimes, long-distance caregivers feel guilty about not being closer, not doing enough, not having enough time with the person, and perhaps even feeling jealous of those who do.

Many long-distance caregivers also find that worrying about being able to afford to take time off from work, being away from family, or the cost of travel increases these frustrations. Remember that you are doing the best you can given the circumstances and that you can only do what you can do. It may help to know that these are feelings shared by many other long-distance caregivers—you are not alone in this.

If you can, give yourself a break: take a walk, talk with your friends, get some sleep—try to do something for yourself.

Reprinted courtesy of the National Institute on Aging ( For more information, contact the Family Caregiver Alliance, 1-800-445-8106 (toll-free), The organization has a number of valuable resources, including a section on online support groups.



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