After spending a significant amount of time in social distancing and isolation, this summer may lead you even more than usual to want to travel to visit family and friends, or to simply experience a change of scenery and some pleasant activities. And if you provide care for a senior with Alzheimer’s or dementia, having a senior loved one accompany you could be a viable option, with some preplanning.
- Take your time. Pack plenty of extra time into your schedule to allow you to move at a pace that is most comfortable for your senior loved one, in order to provide adequate downtime when you reach your destination that will allow her or him to relax and get used to the change.
- Pack paperwork. In the event that you do not already have a document in place that details each of your loved one’s medications, healthcare provider and emergency contact info, allergies, etc., now is the perfect time to create one, and bring a copy with you.
- Include identification. Ensure that your loved one wears an ID bracelet, or that his / her clothing, shoes, luggage, etc. are marked clearly with his or her name and an emergency contact number. A list of the older adult’s health issues should be tucked into his / her wallet as well.
- Stay near home. It is best for someone with dementia to limit travel time to preferably no more than 4 hours. In case your journey requires longer time in transit, bring along another trustworthy family member, or a skilled caregiver from Inspired Home Care, to help you.
- Strive for familiarity. Unfamiliar surroundings are often especially disturbing for an older adult with Alzheimer’s disease. Bringing along items from home that provide comfort, such as his or her bed quilt, pajamas, pillow, etc. might help. Keeping a schedule that is close to the senior’s regular routine can also be an excellent idea, such as keeping set times for meals and bed.
- Be realistic. Match your expectations to the reality associated with the older adult’s current stage of the disease. If she or he is experiencing hallucinations, aggressive behavior, wandering, and significant confusion, it is potentially best to keep your loved one at home.
Inspired Home Care provides professional elder care in Wilmette and the surrounding areas to allow you to travel while a senior loved one stays safe at home, or even provide accompaniment for the older adult so you can enjoy your time away while knowing his / her needs will be fully met away from home.