After spending a considerable amount of time in social distancing and isolation, this summer may lead you even more than normal to want to go to visit family, or even to simply encounter a change of scenery and some pleasurable activities. And if you provide care for an older adult with Alzheimer’s or dementia, having a senior loved one accompany you may be a viable option, with a little preplanning.
- Don’t rush. Pack enough extra time into your schedule to allow you to move at the pace that is most comfortable for the senior, and to provide plenty of downtime once you reach your destination in order to permit him or her to relax and adapt to the change.
- Pack paperwork. If you do not already have a document in place that details all of your loved one’s medications, healthcare provider and emergency contact info, allergies, etc., now is the perfect time to make one, and bring a copy along with you.
- Include identification. Make sure that your family member wears an ID band, or that his / her clothing, shoes, luggage, etc. are marked clearly with his or her name and an emergency phone number. A list of the senior’s health issues should always be tucked into his / her wallet as well.
- Stay in the proximity of home. It’s best for someone with Alzheimer’s to limit travel time to ideally no more than four hours. In the event the journey requires a longer time in transit, bring along another trustworthy family member, or a professional caregiver from Home With You Senior Care, to help you.
- Aim for familiarity. Unfamiliar settings may be especially unsettling for an older adult with Alzheimer’s disease. Bringing along items from home that provide comfort, such as his / her bed quilt, pajamas, pillow, etc. often helps. Keeping a schedule that is similar to the senior’s regular routine is also an excellent idea, such as keeping set times for meals and bed.
- Be realistic. Match your expectations to the reality of the senior’s current stage of the disease. If she or he is experiencing hallucinations, aggressive behavior, wandering, and extreme confusion, it perhaps is best to keep your senior loved one at home.
Home With You Senior Care, top providers of memory care in Columbia, MD and the surrounding areas, is happy to provide a highly skilled professional respite caregiver to help you to travel while a senior loved one remains safe at home, or to provide accompaniment for the older adult to enable you to completely enjoy your time away while knowing his or her needs will be fully met away from home.