Many older adults have no immediate family because they’ve been single all their lives or have family who do not live near. I become involved with many older adult clients where the relationship begins between the two of us and eventually due to circumstances, accelerating memory loss or health concerns, I contact the extended family with permission from my client. I work to make these conversations with extended family as comfortable as possible because I realize that they may not wish to become involved with their family member, my client, or due to circumstances in their own families do not have the time to be involved. My goal is to advise extended family that I am helping and to make myself available for questions. Having this contact also allows me to gather information that my client may not be able to communicate due to memory loss or other circumstances. In the majority of cases the extended family is thankful that someone is available to help.

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Caregiving From a Distance Category

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