After spending considerable time in social distancing and isolation, this summer may lead you more than usual to want to go to visit friends and family, or even to simply experience a change of scenery and a few enjoyable activities. And if you provide care for a family member with Alzheimer’s, having a senior loved one accompany you may be a viable option, after a little preplanning.
- Take your time. Pack enough extra time into your agenda to allow you to move at a pace that is most comfortable for the senior, and to ensure sufficient downtime when you reach your destination that will allow him or her to relax and get used to the change.
- Bring paperwork. If you don’t already have a document in place that outlines each of your loved one’s medications, doctor 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 band, or that his or her clothing, shoes, luggage, etc. are marked clearly 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 close proximity to home. It’s best for someone with dementia to limit travel time to preferably no more than a few hours. In case the journey will require a longer time in transit, bring along another dependable family member, or a professional caregiver from Live Free Home Health Care, to help.
- Aim for familiarity. Unfamiliar environments can be especially disturbing for a senior with Alzheimer’s. Bringing along items from home that provide comfort, such as his / her bed quilt, pajamas, pillow, etc. can help. Keeping a schedule that’s close to the older adult’s regular routine is also an excellent idea, such as maintaining set times for meals and bed.
- Be realistic. Match your expectations to the reality associated with the senior’s current stage of the disease. If she or he is experiencing hallucinations, aggressive behavior, wandering, and confusion, it is probably best to keep your senior loved one at home.
Live Free Home Health Care is happy to provide experienced professional respite care in Bristol and the surrounding areas to help ensure your senior loved one stays safe at home while you travel, or even provide accompaniment for the older adult so that you can thoroughly enjoy some time away while knowing his or her needs will be fully met away from home.