Innovative Caregiver: The Benefits of Heading Out of Town with Your Seniors

Posted: 9/22/2015 1:07 PM by Interim HealthCare
As a caregiver for your aging loved ones, you are probably used to the idea of creating and following a basic routine in your care. Having a routine is a great way to ensure your care remains consistent, to give beneficial structure and predictability to your care, and to help your parents maintain as much of their independence as possibly by assimilating to your routine and cooperating with the various tasks so they are as involved in their own care as possible.

Sometimes, however, changing up your routine and doing something different is a great way to shake things up, stimulate your parents' minds, and do something fun so you can create lasting, meaningful memories with your aging loved ones. One fantastic way to do this is by heading out of town for a trip. Whether you just enjoy a fast weekend getaway to a nearby town or embark on an epic cross-country journey together, going on a trip is an amazing way to enhance your caregiver relationship with your loved ones and experience innovative ways to pursue your care goals.
Some of the benefits of heading out of town with your seniors include:

Anticipation. Studies have shown that just the act of anticipating a vacation eases stress and provides a lasting mood elevating effect. Being able to look forward to something makes your parents happier, and helps them to get through challenges, such as uncomfortable doctors' appointments, or a period of transition such as immediately after downsizing into a new home or changing home care providers.

Mental stimulation. Introducing new stimuli and experiences is a highly effective way of stimulating the mind, triggering cognitive processes and critical thinking skills, and tapping into the memory portion of the brain to increase these skills. Going on a trip allows your seniors to experience new places, new people, and new stimulation such as different types of food and different smells, all of which boost mental and emotional health.

Bonding. The most effective care relationships are those between parents and adult children who do not forget the importance of their familial bond and find ways to improve and maintain this relationship within their care journey. A trip is a great time to bond, share conversations, laugh together, and work on building your relationship so when you return home you will both feel more comfortable within the care relationship and willing to pursue more effective care efforts.

Memories. There will come a time when your care journey will come to an end and you will look back on it and wish you remembered more about it. Going on vacation with your seniors, even if it is only for a couple of days, is an opportunity to make memories you can reminisce about with your parents later, and then treasure well into the future even after you are no longer their caregiver.

Activity. Physical activity is critical to your elderly loved ones' health, but it is important not to rely on the same activities all the time. This only creates muscle memory, which means your body does not work as hard. Going on a trip is a great way to introduce different types of activity and jumpstart the body again. 

If you have an aging loved one in need of senior care contact Interim HealthCare today.