<!–[CDATA[Summer is a great time for families to head off on vacation together. The kids are out of school and everyone is usually ready to get away. If you are a caregiver for a senior loved one, your travel plans might include them too. These trips are great way to build bonds across several generations of a family. So even if you aren’t a caregiver for them, including the grandparents might be one of your travel goals.
A road trip with an older loved one often requires you to plan ahead and make a few accommodations. Here are a few tips you can use to ensure your intergenerational summer vacation will go more smoothly.
4 Tips for Planning for an Intergenerational Family Vacation
- Consider special needs: Summer vacations often mean spending a lot of time walking. For older adults, this can present unique challenges. While a visit to Colonial Williamsburg sounds like a great intergenerational destination, all of the walking on a hot, humid Virginia summer day can be tough for an older adult. This is doubly true if the senior lives with a chronic health condition, such as heart disease or diabetes. Before you leave home, investigate opportunities for rest breaks, wheelchair availability, and accessible parking.
- Conduct careful research: Depending upon your senior loved one’s situation and their ability to stay alone, you might want to call any hotels you are considering. Ask if they can connect you with a respite-style caregiver who can stay with your loved one in the hotel a few hours a day when your family is out exploring. Having this type of support can give your family an opportunity to enjoy time together without worrying about your family member’s safety back at the hotel.
- Create a medical file: While no one likes to think the worst will happen while they are on vacation, it is best to be prepared. Make sure you have a copy of your loved one’s medical file, complete with medication list, medical history, and physician contact information. You might find an app, like CareZone or MyMedical, to be an easy way to maintain this information. In case of a medical emergency, you can access needed information via your smart phone.
- Alzheimer’s support: If a senior who will be traveling with you has Alzheimer’s disease, take extra precautions to ensure their safety. A GPS tracking watch or pendant is a must. You might also want to create a card with a quick summary of your loved one’s situation that you can discretely hand to people along your journey.
Respite Care at Five Star Senior Living
If taking the senior you are a caregiver for along on your summer vacation isn’t possible, respite care might be a solution. Five Star Senior Living offers short-term stays at assisted living communities across the country.
Respite guests receive the same compassionate care and access to the same life enrichment programs as long-term residents. Call the community nearest you to learn more!