After spending considerable time in social distancing and isolation, this summer may lead you even more than normal to want to journey to visit friends, or even to just experience a change of scenery and some pleasant activities. And if you provide care for a member of the family with Alzheimer’s or dementia, having your loved one accompany you may be a viable option, with some preplanning.
- Take your time. Pack enough additional time in your agenda to let you move at a pace that is most comfortable for your loved one, and to ensure adequate downtime once you reach your destination to allow him or her to relax and get used to the change.
- Bring paperwork. In the event that you do not already have a document in place that details each of your loved one’s medications, physician and emergency contact info, allergies, etc., now is time for you to make one, and bring a copy with you.
- Include identification. Make sure that your loved one wears an ID wristband, 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 medical conditions should be tucked into his / her wallet as well.
- Stay in the vicinity of home. It’s best for someone with Alzheimer’s to limit travel time to ideally no more than four hours. Should your journey require more lengthy time in transit, bring along another trustworthy family member, or a qualified professional caregiver from Compassionate Nursing Services, to help.
- Strive for familiarity. Unfamiliar environments may be especially distressing for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Bringing along items from home that provide comfort, such as his or her bed quilt, pajamas, pillow, etc. might help. Maintaining a schedule that is close 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 of the senior’s current stage of the disease. If he or she is experiencing hallucinations, aggressive behavior, wandering, and severe confusion, it perhaps is better to keep your senior loved one at home.
Compassionate Nursing Services is happy to provide an experienced professional respite caregiver to let you travel while your senior loved one remains safe at home, or to provide accompaniment for the senior to enable you to fully enjoy some time away while knowing his or her needs will be completely met away from home.
Our compassionate caregivers provide expert memory care in Clayton and surrounding areas, and we have been trusted by families since 2010. To learn more about the communities we serve, contact us at 314-432-4312 and let us help both you and the senior you love with Alzheimer’s to enjoy new and rewarding experiences this summer.