Summer Travel: Planning and Finding Dementia Care You Can Trust
Planning a trip or a vacation is exciting; you can explore new places, relax in a tropical destination, and experience new things. But if you care for a person living with dementia, the idea of going on a trip may seem impossible.
- Who is going to care for Mom?
- What if something happens while I’m away?
- What if this creates unnecessary stress for Mom?
These and a dozen other questions will likely flood your mind. However, it’s vital for dementia care partners to take time for themselves to recharge and refresh their physical and mental health. If not, it can lead to caregiver burnout or physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.
Our mission at Bella Groves is to support individuals and families impacted by dementia. As a care partner, going on a summer trip may seem like a “luxury,” but with planning, preparation, and trusted resources, you can ensure your parent or family member is safe and, most importantly, happy.
Preparing for Your Trip
If you are the primary care partner for a person living with dementia, planning for your trip includes not only your own needs but the needs of your family member. There are three major areas to consider when planning your trip:
- Coverage – Who will provide care in your absence?
- Communication – How will you stay connected and updated while you’re away?
- Conscience – How will you manage your feelings of guilt, or will you be okay with someone else taking over as primary care partner?
Coverage: Finding Care for Your Loved One
A trusted relative and friend who is already familiar with your dementia care plan, your family member’s routine, and understands the nuances of dementia care would be an ideal solution. This way, Mom or Dad can remain in their already familiar environment, with little to no disruption to their daily life.
However, we know this is not always possible. Even with the best intentions, friends and family members have jobs, families, and other responsibilities that may inhibit them from being available for full-time care.
At Bella Groves, our dementia care community serving San Antonio provides care support for individuals and families. We offer respite care services that allow individuals to temporarily reside in our Bulverde community. Regardless of their length of stay, every person at Bella Groves deserves warmth, kindness, and unconditional joy – and that flows through everything we do. We invite you to contact us directly to learn more about our respite care services.
Communication: Staying Connected to Your Loved One
Next, you’ll want to confirm how you will stay informed during your vacation. While your trip is a time to unplug, you never stop being a care partner. Ask yourself:
- Are you traveling somewhere where communication will be difficult, i.e., out of the country?
- Will you want daily updates?
- What constitutes an “emergency” in your mind?
Obviously, you want to make yourself available to answer questions or calm concerns, but you also want to make sure you a drawing the line and allowing yourself to enjoy your trip.
In addition, if a friend or family member is stepping in for you, you have to be mindful of medical emergencies. For instance, a medical release form may be needed to allow the secondary care partner to receive information regarding your loved one’s health.
You also want to make sure this person has:
- All insurance information
- A list of medications, dosages, and regimens
- Contact information of all healthcare providers
- Any other pertinent health or medical information
Conscience: Managing Your Own Feelings
Perhaps the most challenging part of taking a vacation as a care partner is giving yourself permission to disconnect from your responsibilities. This doesn’t make you a bad daughter or son; it makes you human.
In addition, don’t fixate on the “what ifs” while you’re away. You can’t control everything, and whatever might happen while you’re on vacation could just as easily happen while you’re home.
If you’re planning a summer trip with a person living with dementia, our team also shares preparations and tips to help you travel safely and comfortably.
Bella Groves is here to help you on your dementia care journey from day one. We provide varying levels of services and support so that families have the tools and confidence to work through challenging times and create more moments of unconditional joy.