After spending a substantial amount of time in social distancing and isolation, this summer may lead you more than normal to want to travel to visit relatives, or to simply experience a change of scenery, plus some pleasant activities. And if you provide care for a family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia, having a senior loved one accompany you can be a viable option, with some preplanning.
- Don’t rush. Pack enough extra time in your schedule to allow you to move at the pace that is most comfortable for your loved one, as well as provide sufficient downtime when you reach your destination in order to permit him or her to relax and adapt to the change.
- Bring paperwork. If you do not currently have a document in place that details each of your loved one’s medications, healthcare provider and emergency contact info, allergies, etc., now is time for you to create one, and bring a copy along with you.
- Include identification. Make sure your family member wears an ID bracelet, or that his / her clothing, shoes, luggage, etc. are labeled clearly with his or her name and an emergency phone number. A list of the senior’s medical conditions should always be tucked into his or her wallet as well.
- Stay in close proximity to home. It’s best for someone with dementia to limit travel time to ideally no more than four hours. In case your journey will require more lengthy time in transit, bring along another dependable family member, or a professional caregiver from Hearts at Home In-Home Care, to assist.
- Aim for familiarity. Unfamiliar environments may be particularly distressing for an older adult with Alzheimer’s. Bringing along items from home that provide comfort, such as his / her bed quilt, pajamas, pillow, etc. will help. Maintaining a schedule that’s close to the older adult’s normal routine can also be a good idea, such as keeping set times for meals and bed.
- Be realistic. Match your expectations to the reality associated with senior’s current stage of the disease. If she or he is experiencing hallucinations, aggressive behavior, wandering, and significant confusion, perhaps it is best to keep your loved one at home.
Hearts at Home In-Home Care is happy to provide an experienced professional respite caregiver to allow you to travel while a senior loved one remains safe at home, or to provide accompaniment for the senior to enable you to fully enjoy your time away while knowing his / her needs will be completely met away from home.
Our compassionate caregivers provide expert help at home in Kansas City and surrounding areas, and have been trusted by local families since 2009. To learn more about the communities we serve, contact us at 913-440-4209 and let us help both you and the senior you love with Alzheimer’s to enjoy new and rewarding experiences this summer.