Taking time off can be challenging when you're the primary caregiver for a loved one. All the details involved in arranging for someone to cover for you, ensuring your parent’s or spouse’s needs will be met, and figuring out your actual vacation details can feel daunting. But you need and deserve time to rest and recharge, and experts say that both you and your loved one will benefit if you take it.
These six tips can help you plan for a successful getaway, or even a staycation, and be sure that your loved one is safe and cared for while you’re away:
Decide what kind of break you need.
Are you most in need of a change of scenery, time away with your spouse, communing with nature, or physical activity? Think about what kind of vacation will leave you most refreshed. It could be a simple “staycation” that allows you time to see friends, read books, go on local outings and take day trips.
Start planning now.
Determine who will be responsible for your loved one while you are away. Let family members know straight out that you need a vacation, and see if one of them, perhaps a sibling or sister-in-law, can come and stay for a week or two. It could be a good opportunity for them to bond with your loved one. If you don’t ask, chances are that no one will offer.
Senior home care services from Interim HealthCare can give you peace of mind while providing the highest level of care for your loved one. Professional, compassionate caregivers can assist Mom or Dad with a variety of daily and medical tasks, and also offer specialized care for a variety of health concerns.
Plan for the unexpected.
Planning for the unexpected will help you feel more relaxed while you’re away. Create an emergency plan and share it with whomever will be providing care in your absence. Write down primary and secondary emergency contacts, physician contact information, a preferred hospital and pharmacy (with phone numbers and addresses) and a list of medications and who prescribed them. Also share important documents like a living will. Spell out who will make decisions in case you can’t be reached.
Do your best to really get away.
Guilt and anxiety may make it hard to really let go. You get to decide, of course, how often you want to check in with a substitute caregiver. Using an app like FaceTime to see your loved one can provide reassurance that Mom or Dad is comfortable and is receiving adequate care. You might also plan to have someone who knows your loved one drop in randomly to make sure all is well and report back to you.
We can help you take a break.
Everyone needs a vacation now and then, and caregivers may need them more than just about anyone. Letting yourself burn out doesn’t do you or your loved one any favors. So break out your calendar, your phone book and some travel brochures and prepare to take the plunge. To learn more about senior home care services from Interim HealthCare, contact your nearest location today.