Summer is here, and you may be struggling with the decision of whether to take your elderly loved one on the family vacation. Certainly there are many places that offer services making this possible. It may not, however, be the best choice for either of you. A loved one who has memory loss or dementia will certainly be uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings, and he may struggle more. With at home care, you can travel guilt-free knowing your loved one is cared for and attended. Plus, there are several ways to include him in your summer holiday plans.
Of course you will call a few times while you are away. Keep the calls short enough to hold your loved one’s attention but still allow everyone to say hello and give a highlight of the trip to that point. The calls will remind your loved one of where you are and ease any fears that arise when you miss a visit.
Most of us collect souvenirs when we vacation. You might pick up one or two for your loved one, keeping his interests in mind. Unusual rocks or jars of specialty jams are great souvenirs. Take lots of pictures, too. Include family members in each one, not just scenery. When you get home, assemble the souvenirs and photos in a scrapbook. Put them in chronological order and include a simple map with your route marked. It might be nice to put in some tactile things like sand from the beach glued to a card as well.
Then, pick a family night and join your loved one for supper, going over the scrapbook together afterward. If you have visited a place that holds special significance for him, encourage your loved one to reminisce. Be sure to take a photo of all of you together with the scrapbook so that you can include the picture in the book.
While age and debilities may keep us from vacationing together, they should not keep us from celebrating as a family. For more ideas about how to keep your loved one engaged and involved in activities, contact us. We offer more than at-home nursing services. We offer at-home CARE.