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Travel Tips for Caregivers

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 16 September 2011

If you’re the primary caregiver for a parent or older relative/friend, then you might be wondering if travel plans should be on hold indefinitely.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Caregiving is exhausting, even though you may find it fulfilling too. That’s why it is crucial, both for your well-being and that of your care receiver, to take time for rest and relaxation.

Bear in mind that getting away from it all doesn’t have to mean a pricey two-week jaunt in Europe or a logistically complex cross-country road trip. An extended weekend at a nearby B&B or state park can do the trick.

And if you can’t handle the thought of being away, bring your loved one along; a change of pace, routine and scenery can have a positive impact on both of you.

A post in yesterday’s The New Old Age blog shared some travel tips for caregivers: a few are highlighted below:

  1. Make sure needed medications are available (stock extra too: it’s better to be over than under), either to bring along or leave behind.
  2. Stick to a routine as much as possible.
  3. If your loved one is joining you, know in advance what hospitals and senior care communities are in the area.

 

Also, consider contacting a local assisted living home, as they may offer short-term stays or respite care for families who are traveling and leaving a loved one behind. Home care agencies (non-medical and skilled care alike) can accommodate for short-term arrangements too.

There are 3 Comments about this post

  1. Becca says,

    My brother and I act as our mother’s primary caregivers right now until we find an affordable alternative – she fell and broke her hip earlier this year so her mobility has been restricted up until now. We’re planning a joint family vacation in November to visit family in New England and it will be the first time my mom has travelled since her accident, if not in the last 5 years or so. My brother suggested that we purchase a cell phone for her to use during the trip since she will be arriving with friends and we are going on ahead – he wants to make sure she can reach us at all times. He saw a prepaid, senior line at Kmart from Tracfone called SVC and apparently its made for the elderly. I’m not filmilair with any of these type of services, but could a prepaid phone, particularly a senior one, be a good idea at all? Does anyone think this might work beyond a trip – maybe way for us all to check in during the day?

     

    on 26 September 2011 / 2:47 PM

     
  2. Hi Becca,
    Thanks for stopping by the blog!
    You and your brother are certainly in a difficult situation in caring for your mother after her fall. It’s great that you’re still planning to take a vacation though, and it’s a wise idea to get a cell phone or some means for keeping in touch with your mother as she makes the journey alone. The Tracfone is one option; I recently wrote a post about other cell phones for seniors: http://www.seniorsforliving.com/blog/2011/09/06/buyers%E2%80%99-guide-top-cell-phones-for-seniors/ that you may want to check out too. It is certainly an option post-trip too and a good way to check in with your mother provided she is comfortable with using the phone. There are other at-home monitoring devices too. Let me know if you’d like more info on those (and caregiving-related apps if you have a smart phone). Best to you and your family!

     

    on 26 September 2011 / 4:58 PM

     
  3. [...] This article originally appeared at SeniorsForLiving.com. [...]

     

    on 14 October 2011 / 1:25 PM

     
 

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