After spending a significant amount of time in social distancing and isolation, this summer may lead you more than usual to want to journey to visit family and friends, or even to simply encounter a change of scenery and some enjoyable activities. And if you provide care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, having a senior loved one accompany you could be a viable option, after a little preplanning.
- Take your time. Pack a lot of extra time into your itinerary to let you move at a pace that is most comfortable for your senior loved one, and also to provide adequate downtime once you reach your destination that will allow him or her to relax and adapt to the change.
- Pack paperwork. In the event that you do not already have a document in place that outlines all of your loved one’s medications, physician and emergency contact info, allergies, etc., now is an ideal time to create one, and bring a copy with you.
- Include identification. Ensure your loved one wears an ID bracelet, or that his / her clothing, shoes, luggage, etc. are labeled clearly along with his or her name and an emergency contact number. A list of the senior’s health issues should be tucked into his or her wallet as well.
- Stay in the vicinity of home. It’s best for someone with dementia to limit travel time to ideally no more than a few hours. In case the journey will require longer time in transit, bring along another dependable family member, or a professional caregiver from Grace Home Care, to help you.
- Aim for familiarity. Unfamiliar surroundings may be particularly distressing for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Bringing along items from home that bring comfort, such as his / her bed quilt, pajamas, pillow, etc. might help. Maintaining a schedule that’s similar to the older adult’s regular routine is also a great idea, such as keeping set times for meals and bed.
- Be reasonable. Match your expectations to the reality associated with the older adult’s current stage of the disease. If he or she is experiencing hallucinations, aggressive behavior, wandering, and significant confusion, it perhaps is best to keep the senior at home.
Grace Home Care, the experts in Topeka dementia care, is very happy to provide a highly skilled professional respite caregiver to let you travel while your loved one remains safe at home, or even to provide accompaniment for the senior so that you can fully enjoy your time away while knowing his or her needs will be completely met away from home.