You've worked for months to plan--and dream of!--your vacation. But before your much-deserved time away begins, there are five important conversations you should have with the senior family member staying behind.
Don't Feel Guilty
Knowing you have to tell your senior loved one that you are going away may make you feel guilty. Remember, though, that by refreshing and renewing yourself, you can be they best You possible to care for your loved one long term. Consider your vacation an emotional vitamin.
Instead of saying, "I'm so sorry, but I am going to be gone for a while", try phrasing your news positively: "I have exciting news! I want to be here for you long-term, so I'm taking a bit of time away to rest so that I can come back to love on and care for you again. And I'll have great stories to tell you and pictures to show you!" Let your loved one share the joy and excitement.
Give the Facts
Uncertainty can unnerve a senior who needs care. Make a short itinerary that includes which hotels, flights, driving routes, or sites you'll see each day. If possible, leave phone numbers of each place you'll stay, and assure your senior that he can easily reach you in case of emergency. It is also helpful to copy a page from a calendar and highlight the day you leave and the day you return. Draw a smiley face on both dates to extend the positive news.
Go over the prescriptions your senior takes, and make a quick "cheat-sheet" for him. Ensure he or his caregiver is clear on what to take and when, and that bottles are set for easy-open for those with arthritic hands.
Just as you carefully packed for your trip, you'll want to verify that any necessary equipment is there for your loved one. From walkers and wheelchairs to adult diapers, you want to make sure accouterments are easily available and well stocked.
Talk About Proper Diet
If you usually purchase and prepare your senior's meals, he needs help with proper nutrition. Talk about what he should eat daily, including fresh vegetables and, if applicable, protein drinks. You'll want to review which foods are best taken with or without medicine as well.
That is natural, and one of the reasons you deserve a vacation! If you're looking for the help of an experienced caregiver who can meet all of the needs discussed here, and is trained for much more, contact us. Our caregivers focus on treating your senior with love, respect, and skill so that you can fully enjoy the time away you greatly need and deserve. Now go start dreaming!