By: Y Feinerman, Family First Editorial Staff
In honor of your upcoming wedding anniversary, your spouse just surprised you with a romantic week-long trip. You know you are supposed to be thrilled but, there is no way that you can go. You are the primary caretaker for your aging parents, and a vacation is impossible.
Who will take care of Mom?
Who will look in on her in the afternoons?
How will she get to the doctor?
Who will set up her medications?
And… what happens if there is a real emergency?
These are the exact reasons that you NEED a vacation. Being the primary caretaker for aging parents is challenging and demanding, and it takes its toll on you. You need this for your heart and mind.
Before you start packing for your romantic getaway here are some options to keeping your aging parents safe and well, while you are relaxing by the beach!
1. Home Care
The preferred option for your aging parents is to remain in the same environment. Remaining at home creates the least disruption, especially for seniors dealing with memory loss or if they require specialized medical equipment.
Ask a relative or a sibling can assume the primary caretaker duties and stay over at your parent's house while you are away. If this is not an option, ask the daytime caregiver if they can work extra hours. A home health care registry can provide personalized service from regular calls throughout the day, to night shifts or if your aging parents requires it, complete 24-hour care.
2. Residential Care Facilities
Although not ideal, if it is impossible for your aging parent to remain in their accustomed routine at home, rest assured they will be well taken care of at a residential facility. ARCH National Respite and Resource Center, provides a wealth of information and a national locator tool that can help caregivers find respite services in their community.
Assisted Living Residence
This is ideal for independent seniors that require less help. The expectation is that your parents are mentally alert and can dress and feed themselves. Your parents can live in their own apartment while sharing communal living and dining areas.
These facilities are intended for seniors with greater personal and medical requirements. Care is available day or night and constant nursing can be provided if it is deemed necessary.
In order to go on vacation safe with the knowledge that your parents will be comfortable and safe until your return, start planning early. Depending on their mental capacity try and involve your parents in the decisions related to their care.
- Understand the finances.
- Add the costs of elder care into your vacation costs.
- Research veterans benefits, Medicaid, foundation grants, and state funding.
No matter where your parents will be staying, organize a folder containing important paperwork.
- List of primary and secondary emergency contacts
- List of family contacts
- List of physicians- with phone numbers and addresses
- List of preferred hospital and pharmacy
- List of all medications and which doctor prescribed them
- Important documents: power of attorney, living will, advance directives, DNR orders
- insurance cards
Enjoy Your Vacation
Relax! You are ready to enjoy a stress-free vacation. You have made arrangements for your aging parents and you have seen to the last detail. Now, is your time to take a break from the stress of being the primary caretaker.
Focus on the milestone of your wedding anniversary and enjoy the romantic getaway.
What are your tips on vacationing without your aging parents?
Y. Feinerman is the digital marketing manager for Family First Home Health Care. Yocheved is passionate about family and is known to be the "go to person" for family life cycle events and FUN!
Family First Home Health Care is a consumer-directed private care registry, with the purpose of putting our client in control. We are committed to referring those caregivers who can provide high quality, innovative care and who strive for excellence. Caregiver screening and referral are our business. Each of the caregivers on our registry undergoes a rigorous background screening and a credential verification. Click here and F1HH will be in touch with you within 24 hours.