The Zoom Revolution Part 2 – Work from anywhere and move closer to the loved ones who need help
For many years, on the wall closest to the door of my grandparents’ apartment hung a photo featuring my dad, uncle, grandfather and me. I was wearing a brown corduroy sports jacket and making a face that my 8 year-old self thought was funny. The photograph was taken at a relative’s 50th birthday party in lower Westchester. There had been other family events and even a wedding or two that I attended prior to that party, but this birthday party resonated for one main reason. It reminded me that I had a sizable number of family members living in close proximity. The adults in that room, laughing, clinking glasses, dropping silverware knew that they did not have to deal with a crisis alone. Four decades later, the story has changed.
The reality is: people moved. For each of the last 40 years, around 40 million Americans moved each year. The majority moved within the same county, but close to 15 million Americans moved farther away annually. For those who moved more than a few miles away, favorable career and personal life opportunities were worth pursuing. Name the metric (cost of living, quality of life, agreeable weather) and a person could be satisfied with their decision to relocate. Remote work and Zoom meetings had not yet become standard practice. The arithmetic was still favorable.
Caregiving adds some complexity to one’s equations of happiness. Managing a loved one’s care from a great distance is tough. Not being on site means not seeing the whole picture. Caregiving is a granular activity. Noticing a discoloration or a shake during an in-person visit is vital to managing a loved one’s care. Speaking directly to a doctor or physical therapist with your loved one beside you is impactful. The isolation imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic brought all of these issues into focus.
Being separated from family and geographically distant during times of need can be dispiriting. While certain family dynamics may have played a role in the separation, having more support is usually better than less support. For an adult child contemplating their caregiving role for a parent, that child’s career was usually an obstacle to be overcome. In 2022, the Zoom Revolution means that you can work effectively from anywhere. A home office set-up can have all of the digital tools of a traditional office. Instead of jobs pulling families apart, technology allows for a remarkable reunion. The caregiving can even flow in another direction. A grateful grandparent can maintain a more consistent and beneficial relationship with a grandchild that lives close by.
To review caregiving options and discuss long-term care planning, contact the professionals at Sloan and Feller today.