Caregiving From a Distance

Last Modified: November 16, 2010


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

My mom is being treated in Pennsylvania and I live in Texas. How can I be a good caregiver from so far away?


Tracy Lautenbach, MSW, LCSW, Social Worker at the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Friends and family who live a distance from a loved one going through treatments for lung cancer often find it challenging to provide the right mix of care, support and guidance. With families increasingly being separated by geographic distance, more and more long distance family members and friends are becoming "caregivers". The challenge they face is how to find the right mix of support without being physically present. To meet the challenge of long distance care-giving, stay in touch with the patient via telephone, email. Consider using web based group calendars such as to organize support for the person with cancer. These free calendars organize who can do what for the patient- like driving patient to appointments and treatments, shopping, meal prep, running errands. This also helps with caregivers not duplicating services and everyone being on the same page about what is going on with the patient.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Lung Cancer Q&A Webchat. View the entire transcript of the Lung Cancer Q&A Webchat.