When you’re a full-time caregiver for a loved one, you may feel as though it’s difficult to go on vacation because you may feel guilty or worry that he or she won’t be cared for well while you are away. However, the first rule of caregiving is to make self-care a priority. There are plenty of options available to put your mind at ease such as in-home nursing and companion services.
If you are considering leaving your loved one for a much-needed vacation, here are some items to keep in mind, including how you can choose someone to take your place while you are gone.
Mentally Preparing for Your Time Away
Dedicating your time to taking care of another person, especially someone with a disease such as dementia, makes it hard to feel like you can just drop your responsibilities and take a vacation for yourself or family. However, it’s important to remember that taking breaks from the stress of caregiving can give your body much needed rest, and also give your mind a break from the emotional hardships that come with being a full-time caregiver. You may have to try to convince yourself that it’s OK to leave your loved one, but at the end of the day, taking care of yourself will help you become a better caregiver in the long run.
Telling Your Loved One About Your Plans
Deciding who will care for your loved one while you are gone is a task that should not be taken lightly. It might bring about some anxiety and confusion with your loved one when he or she finds out that you will be gone, so it’s important not to bring up your travel plans until they are finalized, so as to not cause unnecessary distress.
Caregiver Options While on Vacation
1. Ask a Relative or Close Friend
Your first choice might be to ask a close relative or close friend to stay with your loved one. This may be a good option because your relative or friend may be someone who your loved one already knows and is comfortable with while in your absence. This could greatly decrease the anxiety your loved one may feel in your anticipated absence.
Even if you choose another caregiving option, it might be a good idea to ask your relative or a good friend to check in daily with your loved one while you are away.
2. Ask a Daytime Caregiver to Stay Overnight
If you have a daytime caregiver that your loved one is happy with, it might be a good option to ask this person to stay overnight. This may require you to increase his or her pay, so the cost of this option is something to consider. Again, having someone who is recognizable to your loved one is always a bonus if you cannot be there to oversee the daily care.
3. Hire a Licensed In-Home Caregiver
In a situation where you are the sole caregiver without family nearby, it’s always a good option to look into short-term care provided by an in-home caregiving service such as 24/7 Nursing Care. The benefit to this option is that you can hire someone with a medical background to care for your loved one while you are away, ensuring that his or her health is a top priority. Many believe that this is the best option for peace-of-mind while taking a break from caregiving duties.
Remember to Gather Important Documents
Regardless of who you ask to take over caregiving while you are away, there are some important items that should always be readily available to your replacement caregiver.
1. Emergency Contact Information
Be sure to include both a primary and secondary contact number. This may be the number of the hotel where you are staying or any traveling companions. Your temporary caregiver should have multiple ways to contact you.
2. A list of Medications and Proper Dosage
Write out a daily list of the medications that your loved one needs to take. Make sure that the list includes clear instructions for each type of medication. You can never be too specific! It’s always good to err on the side of caution and make sure your caregiver has more than enough information about medications.
3. Legal Documents such as Living Will and Power of Attorney
In your absence, your replacement should have access to any legal documents that may be needed in the event that your loved one has to be taken to the hospital. This will include any end-of-life requests, insurance cards, and documents that state who is the power of attorney for medical decisions. Ensure that your caregiver has access to this information before you leave town.
We know that it can be stressful to leave a loved one who you have been caring for, even if just for a short time. That why we have made it our mission at 24/7 Nursing Care to provide the best service in licensed in-home caregiving. Contact us to learn more about your options for care for the ones you love.
How to Take a Vacation When You’re a Caregiver. (2016, March 28). Retrieved April 13, 2018, from https://www.nextavenue.org/how-to-take-a-vacation-when-youre-a-caregiver/