Traveling Concerns as a Senior CaregiverJuly 2, 2019
The beginning of Summer inevitably means the start of traveling journeys for many families, and traveling with an elderly relative can be an issue. You may have a trip planned and you are deciding on whether or not it is possible to bring along your senior loved one. Because of this, you probably have some concerns that need to be addressed.
Bringing Your Elderly Parent Along
When planning a trip and considering if you should bring an elderly loved one, there is much to consider. Some elderly parents are still very independent and able to do most things they could do when they were younger. In this case there may not be many reasons to consider leaving them in the care of another caregiver in your time away.
But, this isn’t always the case. Some elderly parents are at a stage in their life where they can no longer move as well as they used to. And, the long and tiring hours from traveling, whether by car, train, or plane can take a big toll on their health. In this case, it’s important to weigh the positives and negatives of traveling with your elderly parents. On one hand, you may feel the need to have them stay at home because of the factors discussed above. On the other hand, you should consider that slowing down doesn’t mean that trips can’t be a great thing for your parent. Depending on the type of trip that you are taking, it can be a great way to get them to socialize and reboot their mental health with this change of pace.
Traveling to Their Pace
No one wants to feel like they have to stop doing the things they did when they were younger. If your elderly parent has expressed interest in still taking trips and traveling, it can be important to listen. If they have mobility issues, or your trip is centered around tiring activities, think about ways you can address this. Maybe there are reasonable accommodations you can make, or even plan activities that they’ll be able to participate in.
You can also plan a different trip along with them. Being a caregiver for your parent isn’t an easy task. Sometimes you may decide that you want to take a trip on your own, but feel guilty leaving them out. A solution to that is to plan a separate trip where you partake in activities centered toward your parent. You have to remember that you need to keep taking care of yourself as you take care of your parent. A short duration of travel may just be your way of doing so. Just remember that balance is key and a great way to offset any feeling of leaving them out is to plan other trips and activities with them as well later on.
Hear Them Out
Ultimately, you should also hear the concerns of the person you care for. Not all trips or traveling will be for vacation purposes. Sometimes we may travel to see a sick relative. In cases like this, it’s especially important to hear out the reasons your parent may have for traveling. Weigh those reasons along with the positives you can find.
It may be a great opportunity for your loved on to see other family members or make peace with a situation. These sorts of opportunities are far and few. With a little bit of your care to make this happen, you may be giving them a great gift.
There will be cases where you will have to decide that it won’t be best for your parent to travel. But, other times the difference in them being able to travel will be your ability to plan and make arrangements. In these cases you will be doing a great service to your parent. Remember not to rule out their ability to travel just because there may need to be some accommodations made.
If you have any questions about caregiving or how to become a caregiver for your parent give us a call at 773.274.9262
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