Long-Distance Caregiving Isn’t Easy, and That’s Why Assisted Living Respite Options Can Be So Valuable

Marcy and Greg lived in Seattle. Marcy’s mother was living in Florida. After Marcy’s father passed away several years ago, she took it upon herself to check in with her mother regularly. These ‘check ins’ were done mostly by phone.

Over time, though, Marcy’s mother got a smartphone and they were able to video chat every once in a while (after her mother figured out how to use it). Recently, though, her health began to deteriorate.

She was in the hospital for a few days and Marcy flew out to be with her. She spent a week with her mother when she was discharged and sent home. Yet, not a day went by that Marcy wasn’t worried about her mother. She called far more often than she had in the past. It even reached a point when her mother was getting frustrated with the constant calls.

“I’m fine, Marcy,” her mother would say. “You don’t have to keep checking on me every minute of the day.”

Marcy couldn’t help it. It was getting to the point where Greg was becoming frustrated. The evening hours, when they would normally spend time together, she was constantly checking her phone, texting her mother, her mother’s neighbors, always seeming to have a bad feeling about things.

Yet, things were still okay.


Greg suggested that she talk to her mother about assisted living.

Assisted Living Spanish Fort, AL: Long-Distance Caregiving

Assisted Living Spanish Fort, AL: Long-Distance Caregiving

“Why don’t you just talk about it?” He said, exasperated one evening after another minor argument over the topic. You see, Marcy didn’t want to talk about assisted living because she worried about how her mother would see it.

She didn’t want her mother assuming she expected this to be the end. As Greg told his wife, assisted living is one of the better elder care options available to aging men and women.

That’s when he suggested she at least try it for a short time.

“But isn’t assisted living a full-time thing?” Marcy asked. Greg explained to her that a coworker realized assisted living does offer respite care options. Not all facilities do this, but for those that do, it can be a great gateway to help her mother realize the value it offers.


Long-distance caregiving misses out on many things.

Marcy’s mother was doing okay for the most part, but even she recognized her physical abilities were on the decline. Things were getting tougher to take care of around the house. She was losing her balance more, having greater difficulty getting up the stairs. Getting out of bed in the middle of the night, with her arthritis, was causing her more concern.

Marcy finally got the courage up to discuss assisted living and she mentioned respite care options. Her mother listened. She perked up when she realized she could stay at a local facility for just a few days a week to try it out.

Together, with Marcy’s help, they found a facility that was only a couple of miles away. Marcy loved it so much she moved in a few months later and never looked back.

If you or an aging loved one are considering a move to an Assisted Living in Spanish Fort, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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