The traditional definition of 'caregiving' usually involves the caregiver living with or nearby their loved one. However, long-distance caregiving is becoming more common, as families spread out across the US.

Having to provide care for a loved one at a distance can be stressful and challenging. Many caregivers struggle with the distance, as their mother or father has difficulty managing their household, such as paying bills, taking care of the yard and cleaning the house.

Still, many seniors want to maintain their independence and do not want to relocate, so what is a caregiver to do?

One solution that some of the seven million long distance caregivers in the US are turning to is technology. Today, there are many apps and software packages available that ease the process of distance caregiving. Some of the common communication tools that caregivers use to stay in close touch with their loved one include My Geo, Skype and Google Chat.

There also are programs to keep close track of your loved one's medical matters, including Health Vault.

Financial Problems Solved

Another common area of problems for distance caregiving is financial issues. Elderly Americans with health problems can have difficulty in managing their finances. In some cases, the elderly fall prey to aggressive telemarketers and scammers and lose thousands of dollars.

One solution is True Link, a San Francisco-based startup. The company provides a True Link card to the caregiver, who sets up an online account that reflects their loved one's typical spending habits.

Algorithms designed by True Link track your loved one's transactions, and are compared to common scams that target seniors. Caregivers can block purchases at various types of stores or types of merchants. They also can receive emailed alerts about suspicious charges on their loved one's account.

These types of technology are helping more far flung caregivers to keep tabs on their elderly loved ones. If you are caring for a loved one far away, try some of these tools and let us know how they work for you.