Virtual Caregiving: Support from a Distance

The pandemic has caused many changes in our lives. For some caregivers, this means having to be physically apart from your loved one living with cancer. Even if your loved one is living in a distant location, you can still support them in other ways.

The following are 4 ways that you can support your loved one from afar:

  1. Keep an open dialogue – Let your loved one discuss their needs and ask how they would like you to support them. You may both be feeling stressed and overwhelmed by outside circumstances and by not being able to see one another. It is important to have a conversation about any concerns or needs you both have. Sharing how you each feel can allow you to settle into a routine and still find ways you can offer your support.
  2. Take advantage of technology – Through phone calls and video chats, you can have regular conversations and even attend your loved one’s appointments. This way, you can still ask questions, take notes, and support them during their doctor’s appointments.
  3. Stay informed – Although you can’t be physically there for your loved one, you can continue to advocate for them and help them advocate for themselves by learning about new treatment options and other medical advancements.
  4. Take care of yourself – All caregivers must care for themselves too. It’s often easy to forget this, especially when you’re not physically there. The emotional toll it takes on you is still extremely prevalent. Remember that supporting your loved one from a distance can be just as effective. You are doing your best under your specific circumstances for the health and safety of your loved one.

Gilda’s Club Westchester offers a weekly “Caregiver Group” that provides a warm and welcoming space for support and connection for those caring for someone who is living with cancer. To learn more about this and other support groups at Gilda’s Club Westchester, please visit the calendar on our website

In addition, Gilda’s Club Westchester offers support through a secure online community called MyLifeLine, which is designed to connect people living with cancer to their caregivers, as well as friends, family members, and others in their support network.