After spending a considerable amount of time in social distancing and isolation, this summer may lead you even more than normal to want to travel to visit family, or even to just encounter a change of scenery and some pleasant activities. And if you provide care for an older adult with Alzheimer’s or dementia, having a senior loved one accompany you can be a viable option, with some preplanning.
- Take your time. Pack lots of additional time in your itinerary to allow you to move at a pace that is most comfortable for your loved one, and also to provide sufficient downtime when you reach your destination in order to permit him or her to relax and get used to the change.
- Bring paperwork. If you do not already have a document in place that outlines each of your loved one’s medications, healthcare provider and emergency contact info, allergies, etc., now is an ideal time to make one, and bring a copy with you.
- Include identification. Ensure your loved one wears an ID wristband, or that his or her clothing, shoes, luggage, etc. are labeled clearly with his or her name and an emergency phone number. A list of the older adult’s medical conditions should be tucked into his / her wallet as well.
- Stay in close proximity of home. It’s best for someone with Alzheimer’s to limit travel time to ideally no more than 4 hours. If the journey will require a longer time in transit, bring along another reliable family member, or a qualified professional caregiver from Morning Glory Home Care, to assist.
- Aim for familiarity. Unfamiliar environments are generally particularly unsettling for a senior with dementia. Bringing along items from home that provide comfort, such as his / her bed quilt, pajamas, pillow, etc. will help. Keeping a schedule that’s similar to the older adult’s regular routine is also a good idea, such as keeping set times for meals and bed.
- Be reasonable. Match your expectations to the reality associated with the senior’s current stage of the disease. If he or she is experiencing hallucinations, aggressive behavior, wandering, and severe confusion, it is probably better to keep the senior loved one at home.
Morning Glory Home Care, the exerts in dementia care in Alton and surrounding areas, is happy to provide a highly skilled professional respite caregivers to allow you to travel while your senior loved one remains safe at home, or even provide accompaniment for the older adult so that you can completely enjoy your time away while knowing his or her needs will be fully met away from home.