Tips for Planning a Vacation with an Aging Loved One
As a caregiver of an aging loved one, taking a vacation may sound impossible. Who makes sure mom eats while I’m away? Will dad remember to take his needed medications? What would mom do if there is a power outage? The list of questions you ask yourself goes on and on, increasing your anxiety until you give up on the idea altogether. However, in addition to poor health, not taking some needed time away from the daily responsibilities of a caregiver can result in extreme stress and burnout.
In-Home Non-Medical Caregivers
Do you have a close friend or a family member who can take on the caregiver responsibilities for a brief time while you are away? If not, entrust in the care of an in-home caregiver for your aging loved one. This will allow you to plan a vacation where you can relax and recharge. Professional caregivers receive extensive non-medical home care training and are available 24/7. Depending on the specific needs of the individual, an expert caregiver can assist in all aspects of daily living – meal preparation, bathing, dressing, light housekeeping, and transportation.
When employing the service of a knowledgeable caregiver from an elder care business, plan on taking time out for you and your loved one to get comfortable with one another. This is also an appropriate time to see how your loved one and potential caregiver get along and communicate with each other.
Gather Essential Information
Organize a folder of essential information needed for the elder care business or the individual who will be entrusted in the care of your loved one while you are on vacation. Information should include a list of medications, emergency contacts, pharmacy, physicians, hospital preference, and service providers. Other information to include is Do Not Resuscitate orders, Advance Directives, Living Will, and Power of Attorney.
Every day, there are numerous advances made in technology. Some of these advancements include various technical devices designed to help keep seniors safe while in their home. This includes emergency response systems, automated medication assistance, GPS tracking devices, and systems that allow an individual to control or monitor the usage of appliances or specific electrical outlets. These technical devices are simple to use and are generally not reviewed during some non-medical home care training classes. Take the time needed to teach the qualified caregiver how to properly use them.
Several nursing homes, assisted living facilities, as well as retirement communities, provide respite care services on a short-term basis. Also, adult day care centers offer seniors daytime-only supervision or activities.
Caring for an aging loved one can be stressful and exhausting, but taking a vacation is possible with some careful planning. With the expansion of home care agency franchises and elder care businesses across the country, planning a vacation when you are the primary caregiver for a loved one has become simpler. Take time to research the senior care agencies in your area and plan for that long-needed vacation.