Vacations are a time for relaxation, for bonding with family and friends and for going on adventures. Being a Family Caregiver of a senior loved one, there may be an opportunities for you to travel with your loved one, whether for a reunion or to attend a holiday get together.
Before You Make A Final Decision
Whatever the reason for travel may be, there are many things to consider when deciding if it is safe and feasible for your senior loved one to travel away from home.
- Is your senior loved one physically able to travel?
- Would riding in a car for an extended amount of time cause joint pain or car sickness?
- Would a shorter trip via train be better suited for them?
The First Step
The first step you should take in determining whether or not your loved one is fit to travel is to identify their daily needs. When she takes medication, does it have to be taken with a meal? Is she on a restricted diet that could be difficult to accommodate at restaurants? Does she take regular naps or require frequent bathroom breaks?
The answers to all of these questions may impact the type of trip you are able to plan for your loved one, whether it be a short trip with just a couple of hours in a car, or an extended trip that requires travel and a hotel stay. Being knowledgeable about his or her routine will help you incorporate your senior loved one’s needs into your travel plan. It is vital that you, as the Family Caregiver, provide a safe vacation experience where your loved one can maintain their regular routine and avoid complications during their trip.
Speak With Your Loved One's Doctor
Another step to consider is to speak with your loved one’s physician. Her doctor can provide you with helpful information about her medication, as in possible side effects (some medications require limited sun exposure, for example) and whether or not they need to be taken with food. Also, consider talking with other caregivers, who may have experience with traveling with seniors. They may have recommendations about venues like hotels and museums that are more accommodating for wheelchairs or walkers.
Other things to consider:
- Climate: Look up a 10-day forecast in the city you plan to visit to help decide what clothes to pack. Plan on packing layers for cool weather and UV ray-blocking material for sunnier climates.
- Pre-plan your route: Consider taking a route to your destination that includes rest stops. Rest stops will allow for fresh air, restroom breaks and a great stopping point if your loved ones requires eating and drinking before taking medications.
- Pack a Travel Kit: Include items like approved snacks, necessary medications, reading materials and other fun things to use for activities in the car, like a book or crossword puzzle.
Your role as caregiver requires planning on many levels, not just vacation. At Freudenthal Home Health, there are professionals who can partner with you in providing advanced, full service care to your loved one, right from the comfort of their home. To learn how we can help, give us a call today.
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