After spending substantial time in social distancing and isolation, this summer may lead you more than usual to want to travel to visit family and friends, or even just to encounter a change of scenery and a few pleasurable activities. And if you provide care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, having your loved one accompany you may be a viable option, after a little preplanning.
- Take your time. Pack a lot of additional time into your itinerary to allow you to move at the pace that is most comfortable for your loved one, as well as ensure sufficient downtime when you reach your destination that will allow him or her to relax and get used to the change.
- Pack paperwork. In the event that you don’t already have a document in place that outlines all of your loved one’s medications, healthcare providers, emergency contact info, allergies, etc., now is time to make one, and bring a copy along with you.
- Include identification. Make sure that your loved one wears an ID wristband, or that his or her clothing, shoes, luggage, etc. are marked clearly with his or her name and an emergency phone number. A list of the older adult’s medical condition should be tucked into his / her wallet as well.
- Stay close to home. It is best for someone with Alzheimer’s to limit travel time to preferably no more than a few hours. Should your journey require a longer time in transit, bring along another trustworthy family member, or a qualified professional caregiver from Abby Senior Care, to assist.
- Strive for familiarity. Unfamiliar environments may be particularly disturbing for a senior with dementia. Bringing along items from home that provide comfort, such as his / her bed quilt, favorite pajamas, pillow, etc. often helps. Maintaining a schedule that’s close to the senior’s normal routine is also a good idea, such as keeping set times for meals and bed.
- Be realistic. Match your expectations to the reality of the older adult’s current stage of the disease. If she or he is experiencing hallucinations, aggressive behavior, wandering, or significant confusion, it probably is advisable to keep your loved one at home.
Abby Senior Care, providers of home care in Littleton and the surrounding areas, is happy to provide an experienced professional respite caregiver to allow you to travel while your senior loved one remains safe at home, or even to provide accompaniment for the senior to enable you to fully enjoy some time away while knowing his / her needs will be fully met away from home.