Hi! I am Rob McInnes and I am in my 60's. I am also one of the long distance caregivers for my aging parents. My parents were in their 80’s and living 1,500 miles away. (My Dad passed away a few years ago.) My in-laws are also in their 80's and live 300 miles away in a different direction.
I found myself needing to spend more of my attention and time getting to know both Mom and Dad better. The time became precious and I wanted to spend more time with them- but I couldn't. My few visits to their home were becoming wonderful experiences- talking about the early days- hearing about THEIR early days.
I was shocked when my Dad suddenly passed away a few years ago after a brief lung infection. Now Mom lives alone- in her 80’s- and still 1,500 miles away. And my in-laws are also in their 80's and live over 300 miles away in a different direction.
My calls to Mom and Dad- and now to just Mom- were never as often as I wanted them to be. We would talk about the usual things- the weather, the grandchildren, me, them, their health. I was often calling to make sure they were still all right. And usually they were.
It is not easy being a long distance caregiver. Some days I just can’t make the call to Mom. Because of my work schedule, my own family- for one reason or another I just can't make it. I feel bad about it. I wonder how Mom feels- is she waiting for my call? Does she wish I would call more often?
My sister calls and visits Mom every day. She is able to make time and space on purpose for it. And I feel better that my sister is checking on Mom daily. That’s reassuring.
Now my sister has managed to get my Mom to move closer so it will be easier for her to stay in touch. It surely will, but I am concerned about her developing "caregiver stress".
It got me thinking, what if there were a telephone service that would call every day- especially if I can't call? There wasn't one available.
So, what if I give reassurance and help to other adult children who may be in a situation similar to mine? What if I could set up a calling service for them to call parents or shut-ins every day? What a tremendous relief that would be for a lot of people!
I talked it over with some friends who also thought it would be a great service- for long distance caregivers across town or across the country. So I am providing this daily live telephone calling service.
I love teaching and helping people. This calling service seems like a natural extension of this philosophy.