For many, summer is traditionally vacation season – the kids are out of school, the office workload is often a bit lighter, and responsibilities are less, right? If you are caring for or overseeing an aging relative, thoughts of vacation raise questions — What will we do with Dad? Can Aunt Linda go two weeks without someone looking in on her? Can Mom manage her medications while we’re away?
From the weekly visit to the daily phone call — touching base with those you love is important. And when those loved ones are older and unable to do some things for themselves, that check-in matters. You may not have even noticed how often you drop by or call, as it simply becomes part of the weekly routine – until you are looking to take a break from that routine.
Here a few things to consider:
– Does your loved one drive? If not, sit down with them and plan out their meals for the time you’ll be away, and make a grocery run the day before you leave.
– Are there any doctor’s, dentist’s, hairdresser’s or other appointments? Consider rescheduling if possible, or arrange other transportation beforehand if the appointments can’t be changed.
– Make sure your loved one has sufficient amounts of any prescribed medication to last while you are away. If medication compliance is an issue, buy a pill container that has a spot for each day. For extra assurance, label each spot with the date and/or time of day (e.g., Sunday, 7/19, bedtime) to minimize any confusion. Snack size baggies work well in a pinch and can be easily labeled with a permanent marker.
– Have an emergency plan. Check the extended forecast for when you will be away. In the event of a freak thunderstorm that causes a loss of power or a torrential downpour that leaks water into the basement, have a neighbor or close friend check on your loved one. Make sure they keep their cell phone fully charged. The ability to communicate when the power is out is an excellent reason to keep at least one landline phone in the house.
– Schedule housework / routine maintenance before you go. Make arrangements for the lawn to be mowed or for the house to be cleaned before you go — whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it in your absence, knowing this chore is taken care of will be a relief off your mind — and your loved one’s as well.
– If possible, arrange for a friend or other family members to visit while you are away to minimize loneliness and give your loved one something to look forward to.
Sometimes, however, your loved one really needs someone there to assist them hands-on. Having someone you trust to look in on your loved one goes a long way to easing your vacation-planning concerns. Lares Home Care can help. Call us to discuss how we can ease some of your stress, so you can have a worry-free vacation secure in the knowledge that your loved ones are being cared for.