10 Remote Dementia Caregiving Tips

Dementia is a challenging journey, not just for the one going through it but for their caregivers as well. And when you find yourself in a situation where you need to provide care from afar, it can be even more daunting. You might feel helpless or overwhelmed, but remember, you’re not alone. In this article, I’m going to share 10 practical remote dementia caregiving tips that can help you provide the best care for your loved one, even from a distance. So, let’s dive in.

Here Are the 10 Remote Dementia Caregiving Tips

1. Building a Support Network

Friends social happy people

The first and foremost step in remote dementia caregiving is building a strong support network. Your network can include many individuals – old coworkers, friends, family members, church acquaintances, neighbors, or even paid caregivers. 

Yes, it’s possible! Local organizations like the Boy Scouts might be willing to assist as part of their community service. These willing hearts can provide valuable respite care, whether it’s just sitting and chatting with your loved one while you handle chores, taking them out for a scoop of ice cream, or even giving you some much-needed time for your medical appointments or errands.

Let’s say you have a friendly neighbor, Sarah, who’s always loved spending time with your loved one. You can ask Sarah if she could drop by once a week to keep your loved one company. Having a few people like Sarah can help share the responsibility.

2. Preparing Your Support Team in Advance

One essential piece of advice is to set up your support team before you need them. This ensures that you’re not scrambling in times of crisis. Select at least one person who can visit your loved one regularly, ideally on the same day and time each week. This consistency allows you to plan your “me time” or other commitments while your support person is there.

Let’s say your cousin, John, is happy to visit every Thursday evening. Knowing this, you can schedule your weekly yoga class during that time or take a break for a coffee with friends.

3. Regular Communication

You may not be physically present, but you can certainly be emotionally and mentally present. Regular communication is key in remote dementia caregiving. Call your loved one frequently to check up on them. You can share stories from your day, ask about theirs, or simply provide comforting company over the phone.

Let’s say your daily call to your mother, where you discuss what’s happening in your life and inquire about her day, helps maintain the emotional connection despite the physical distance.

4. Online Shopping and Medication Management

In today’s world, technology can be a tremendous asset. Online shopping is a fantastic way to ensure your loved one has everything they need. You can purchase groceries, medications, or any other essentials online, saving them the hassle of a trip to the store.

For instance, you can set up a recurring order for your father’s medications and have them delivered right to his doorstep, ensuring he never misses a dose.

5. Emergency Food Delivery

meals on wheels

Sometimes, unforeseen situations arise where your loved one might need food urgently. In such cases, many services can deliver food straight to their door. It’s a convenient way to make sure they have access to meals when you can’t be there to cook for them.

For instance, on a day when your sister can’t visit, and you’re hundreds of miles away, you can use a local food delivery service to ensure your loved one has a warm dinner.

6. Video Calls and Apps

Communication skills talking speaking

In the age of smartphones, staying connected is easier than ever. You can use video calling features on apps like WhatsApp, Skype, or FaceTime to have face-to-face conversations with your loved one. These apps are generally free, making them an accessible and engaging option for keeping in touch.

Imagine you can’t make it to your daughter’s birthday. You can still sing her “Happy Birthday” and see her blow out the candles via a video call, making the distance seem a little shorter.

7. Scheduling Visits

While you can’t be there every day, visiting your loved one in person is crucial for maintaining a strong connection. The frequency of your visits might vary depending on the distance but aim to see them at least once a week, once a month, or at intervals that work for both of you.

Let’s say your brother lives a few states away, you might plan a visit every three months. These in-person visits allow you to provide hands-on assistance and also strengthen the emotional bond.

8. Support for the Primary Caregiver

therapist talking to her patient

It’s not just the person with dementia who needs support. The primary caregiver, often a family member or a hired professional, also requires assistance. You can provide financial support, offer tips, and even create incentives to ease their caregiving responsibilities.

If your sister is the primary caregiver for your mother, you could financially contribute to hiring a professional caregiver for a few hours each week. This will give your sister a much-needed break and reduce her stress.

9. Monitoring and Adaptation

Dementia is a progressive condition, and your loved one’s needs will change over time. It’s essential to monitor their condition and adapt your caregiving strategies accordingly. Regular discussions with the primary caregiver and your support network will help in making necessary adjustments.

For instance, as your father’s dementia progresses, you might need to consider a more structured daily routine or increased professional care. Your weekly conversations with the primary caregiver will help you make informed decisions.

10. Self-Care

Chair Yoga

Last but certainly not least, remember to take care of yourself. Caring for a loved one from a distance can be emotionally draining. You must prioritize your well-being, too. Seek support from friends, a therapist, or a local support group. It’s okay to ask for help, and it’s essential for your health and effectiveness as a caregiver.

Just like how you encourage your support network to provide respite care for your loved one, you should also take advantage of the support available to you. A friend who lives nearby can lend a listening ear when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

What does the research say?

In this study by Jillian Minahan Zucchetto, researchers wanted to find out how people who live far away from their loved ones with dementia take care of them. They were interested in the kinds of help these long-distance caregivers (LDCs) get and what makes them decide to get that help.

So, they asked a bunch of long-distance caregivers in Australia about the help they used and how often they used it. They also asked them about their age, how stressed they felt, how they rated their health, and some things about the person they were taking care of (the care recipient or CR).

Here’s what they found:

1. Half of the long-distance caregivers said they didn’t use any special services or help.

2. The researchers discovered that younger caregivers, those who felt more stressed, had more symptoms of depression, spent more time helping their loved one, and had a loved one who was in worse health were more likely to use these support services.

To put it simply, this study shows us that long-distance caregivers who are younger, feeling stressed or sad, and have a loved one who is very sick are more likely to ask for help and use special services to take care of their family member with dementia. This tells us that when caregivers need help, they’re more likely to seek it out. So, if you’re a long-distance caregiver, it’s okay to ask for help when you’re going through a tough time, just like these caregivers did.


Remote dementia caregiving is undoubtedly a challenging journey, but it’s one you can navigate successfully with the right approach and support. By building a strong network, staying in regular contact, and utilizing technology, you can make a significant positive impact on your loved one’s life.

Always remember to care for the primary caregiver and be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances. And above all, take care of yourself. You’re not alone on this path.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Do you have any additional tips or personal experiences regarding remote dementia caregiving? Please feel free to share in the comments below.

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