When there is a senior who is an important part of your life, there is often an important decision to be made as to whether the senior will be staying home or going along on vacation. When the decision is made to go without your senior, there are conversations that you will need to have with them to ensure that there are no hurt feelings. These conversations can also help your senior know what to expect while you are gone. Here are some suggested topics.
1. Let your senior know you will be leaving for vacation without them.
Whether you are leaving your senior behind because he/she is unable to travel or you just need time away with family or a significant other, talk to your senior about it. Be honest and let him/her know why you are leaving him/her behind so that he/she doesn’t feel left out. This will show that you respect your senior and that he/she is important to you. Let your senior know what to expect and give details about where you are going and how long you will be gone.
2. Review medications and appointments.
If you manage your senior’s medications and doctors appointments, go over those. If they have any appointments scheduled while you are gone, arrange alternate transportation for your senior and let them know who will be assisting while you are gone. Go over medication schedules and, if applicable, sort medications for the upcoming days or weeks. If your senior cannot manage to takes medications properly on their own, arrange for someone to help with medications while you are gone.
3. Discuss grocery lists and meal preparation.
Plan meals ahead with your senior and plan a grocery list and trip to the grocery store before you leave to ensure that their kitchen is fully stocked. Discuss easy ways to prep meals ahead of time and possibly help them prepare meals before you leave. If this is not feasible, you and your senior may want to discuss having meals delivered or having someone come into the home and prepare meals.
4. Arrange caregivers if needed.
If your senior is unable to stay home alone, arrange for a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member to stay with your senior while you are gone. Another option is to utilize a caregiver service in which paid caregivers will come into the home and assist your senior with daily living skills such as dressing, bathing and meal preparation.
5. Discuss fun activities for your senior.
While you are off having fun on your vacation, ensure that your senior has fun as well. Ask your loved one what they would like to do while you are gone and, arrange for someone to make it happen. Also, plan something fun to do with them when you get back or before you leave.
As you get ready to vacation without your loved one, review our Caregiver Vacation Checklist to make sure you are prepared.