Five things caregivers should do before going on vacation
May 31, 2012
Taking care of an aging loved one day in and day out can become very stressful. With so many responsibilities on your plate, it's perfectly okay to feel a bit overwhelmed at times. If you've been feeling a little run-down lately, why not take a vacation? Whether you head out of state or just need a breather to relax in your own home, taking time off from your caregiving duties is perfectly acceptable. However, there are things you need to do to prepare your relative for your absence.
1. Hire someone to take over your duties. A friend, family member, neighbor or a trained professional should be hired to take care of your loved one while you're away. Make sure this individual is trustworthy, and take the time to explain your relative's entire routine before you go.
2. Write out detailed instructions. Although you should train the person who's taking over your caregiving job, it's also a good idea to put down your relative's schedule and information on paper just as a reference. Write down a medication schedule, daily requirements and any other information you think would be useful.
3. Set up a medical alarm system from Bay Alarm. If you haven't already, now is a good time to purchase a medical alert device to ensure that your loved one always has help available. At the push of a button, your relative will be connected to an emergency response team, who can contact the appropriate authorities in the event of a fall, injury or accident in or around your loved one's home.
4. Leave your contact information. In case your relative or the new hired caregiver has any questions or concerns, leave your contact information with them so they can reach you if necessary. This includes a landline phone number, your cell phone number, an email address, a physical address and the name of the place where you're staying, if applicable.
5. Leave other emergency contacts. If your relative or the hired help can't get in touch with you, it's a good idea to have a couple of backups on hand. Choose a few nearby friends or family members who could drop in or answer questions in the event of an emergency, then ask if it's okay to leave their information with your loved one and the new caregiver.