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Caregiver’s Tips: Taking a Vacation when your Loved One has Dementia

Summer is a great time to go on a vacation. Caregivers often feel guilty about leaving their loved ones behind while they go on vacation. They usually think that nobody can take care of their loved ones the way they do or the senior citizen may not want anyone else taking care of them. They begin questioning themselves about what they would do if anything happened to their loved one while they are away. Below are eight tips that you can consider while taking a holiday if you care for your loved one at home or visit him/her regularly in a memory care facility.

Factors dementia caregivers should consider while vacationing

  • Get them prepared in time

Talk to your elderly family member about your plans in advance. This will give them time to think about it and to adjust accordingly.

  • Keep the travel information simple

When you are planning to go on a trip, it is important to get your loved one familiarized with the travel information. The most important information would be

  • The places you plan to visit,
  • Who you will be traveling with,
  • The date of departure and
  • When you plan to get back.

You may consider writing the information down on a piece of paper where your loved one can easily access.

  • Be open to all offers of help

While you are away, you will need someone to provide transport or bring meals to your loved one. You can find someone else to help with this. Make sure that whoever you leave in charge is responsible and trustworthy. You could inquire whom your senior family member feels comfortable staying with.

  • Explain the jobs

When you finally settle on whom you want in charge of your loved one, make sure that you break down the details of the vacation to them or what they need to know about tending to the elderly. Provide them with everything they need on a daily basis. This could include:

  • Emergency contacts
  • Travel details
  • Personal habits and features
  • Usual daily tasks

  • Shorten the anticipation

The best way to do this is to avoid talking about your departure all the time. Avoiding that topic will make your senior family member less anxious.

  • Schedule some companionship

Schedule some time for visitors to come over so that he or she does not feel too lonely. They can check on him or her every once in a while, and ensure that your loved one is fine.

  • Update them regularly

While on vacation, regularly keep in contact with your aging mother or father back at home. This could be done by calling them on phone or doing a video chat through Face Time or Skype. This way you will know how he or she is holding up and stop worrying about your loved one. The staff at the assisted living facility or anyone helping at home could help with this as well.

  • Make the staff aware of your absence

If your senior family member lives in an assisted living home, always inform the staff of your whereabouts. Letting the staff know about your vacation will make it easier for them to calm down the senior when he or she gets anxious and worried about you.

Caregiving is one whole demanding job. It is very engaging and draining indeed. As much as you love to take care of senior family member, it is good for you to take a break every once in a while. Nonetheless, senior citizens with dementia need close attention and should not be left alone for long. Consider moving you loved one to  AutumnGrove Cottage the assisted living and memory care facility.
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