You Finally Got a Vacation…Now, How to Relax?
Every caregiver fantasizes about walking out the door, jumping on a plane and disappearing to a deserted island. But, ask a few caregivers about real life holidays they have taken and some will report a relaxing, rejuvenating stay away. Others will wish they had never left home.
So, what are the ingredients of a relaxing travel break?
1) Decide what role you wish to play in your loved one’s life during your break. If you wish to maintain daily contact, make sure that you have good internet service and phone access at your holiday destination.
2) Ensure that whomever is replacing you at home is qualified and known to your loved one. If you can, take a mini break first, somewhere nearby as a dry run for a longer vacation.
3) Know what elements of your loved one’s care and are most essential to your comfort level. Ensure that you have a protocol In place to receive communication about these issues as often as you feel necessary. Perhaps these are scanned written reports about diet, activities, mood or medications.
4) Make it clear to everyone at home when you will be in touch (if you plan to call, make a schedule) and when you will be returning.
5) Plan for some special outings or visits for your loved one, so that they have something to look forward to while you are away.
6) If you have relatives or best friends who live nearby, have them drop in unannounced to check on how your loved one is doing.
7) At your holiday destination, let the hotel staff know that you may receive an emergency call from home (especially if you are at a beach resort with no telephone in the room)
8) Let any involved professionals (such as doctors or therapists) know that you are leaving the city and give them your dates and contact information.
Bon Voyage! Remember, with good planning and excellent communication, it IS possible to go away for break. Your loved one may appreciate having a break from YOU!