1 Introduction to Successful Long Distance Caregiving


Hi, I’m Elizabeth Swider, your host and educator. Welcome to our course “The Pro Guide to Becoming a Successful Long Distance Caregiver.” If you want to learn a little more about me, watch the separate short video called “About Elizabeth Swider, Your Educator.”

In this introduction I’ll give you a quick summary of the content of this course, I’ll explain where this course fits in to your long distance caregiving journey and into our overall course catalog, and I’ll explain the course format.

Course Summary

In this course I will show you how to define your role as a long distance caregiver, including how to support your loved one’s choices and make your local caregiver’s lives easier. 

I will clarify how to determine who has decision making authority for your loved one, and how to obtain the permission and access you need to perform your role effectively. 

I will teach you how to build a care team and how to pay for care. 

I will show you how to make the most out of visits to see your loved one, and how you or local caregivers can get the most out of your loved ones’ doctor’s appointments. 

I will help you become prepared for a medical emergency, learn how to recognize and prevent fraud and abuse, and know when your loved one needs additional help.

By taking this course you will earn the confidence to lead your loved one’s care and be proud of the support you provide to the entire care team. No more need to feel guilty, frustrated, or regretful.

How This Course Fits In

This course goes hand in hand with two of our other courses on the basics of long distance caregiving. I highly recommend you take those courses as well. I have provided links in the Lesson Materials for this lesson so you can register for them. I’ll discuss the Lesson Materials in more detail in the Course Format section.

Our course “Finding Common Ground: How to Gain Agreement on Eldercare Decisions Even if You Have Failed in the Past,” will help you prevent or settle disputes with your loved one or others in the care process. I recommend taking it before or along with this course, because it will change the way you see your role as a long distance caregiver and therefore influence the choices you make. After taking that course you may find care options that are less expensive and easier for everyone to agree on than any you have even thought about so far.

Our Course: “How to Create a Care Plan that Works for Your Whole Family” will show you how to create a care plan for your loved one by walking you through the assessment process and will help you find effective solutions to each of the issues you uncover. When you finish that short course, you will have a written care plan, agreed to by your loved one and your local caregivers, that you can put into action. If you don’t already have a care plan for your loved one or if you have one but want to validate it, improve it or update it, I recommend taking that course.

In addition to these basic courses, we have a library of other courses explaining how to implement individual care options. I’ll put a link to the Course Library in the Lesson Materials.

If you would like to discuss your individual situation with one of our geriatric care managers, you can purchase a private coaching session from us. And if you would like to be part of a community of long distance caregivers, join our Facebook Group: Caregiving Long Distance. 

Again, links to all these are included in the Lesson Materials. 


Course Format


Each of our courses contain a number of lessons. The display of the lessons may vary based on your device, but they will likely be displayed on the left side of your screen. If you don’t see them displayed, look for a menu icon or an arrow or button that will expand the list.

Each lesson will include the lesson text in written form. If you would like to print the written lesson, you can use your normal print commands on the page – most likely the Control key plus the P key on a windows computer or Command P on a Mac. Each lesson will also contain a video which will deliver the lesson content.

Many lessons will include assignments for you! This is where the rubber meets the road – where you put your new knowledge to work to create the right solutions for your situation.

Lesson Materials

Each lesson also has a Lesson Materials tab. That tab contains links to items you will use as a part of your assignments, additional reference materials, and links to other Care is There resources like additional courses, personal coaching, and our Facebook group. 

For detailed instructions about Lesson Materials, go to this link.

More Help

For more help, email us at caregivereducation@careisthere.com.

Let’s Get Started!

That’s it – everything you need to know to get started. So let’s dive in. Click on the link for the next lesson!