Care Options For Your Elderly Relatives Whilst You Are On Holiday
With summer holidays around the corner, there’s plenty to get ready. But many of us worry how our elderly relatives will cope when we’re away. There’s the fear of what would happen in an emergency, with a bit of guilt thrown in. Who will look after Mum and Dad?
Be good to yourself and remember that everyone deserves a holiday. We all need a break to recharge and catch up on some rest. That’s not being selfish. It’s about being the best version of ourselves for the people close to us. So whether you’ve booked a fortnight in the sun, or just a city break with friends, try not to feel guilty. You’ll get the holiday blues when you come back. Don’t get them before you go.
Dealing with your worries
It’s the day-to-day stuff we usually worry about, just knowing our relatives are okay. This can mean checking that they picked up their pills, or got to their doctor’s appointment. Then making sure they have enough food, and that the breakfast bowls aren’t still in the sink. Simply asking other family members to make more phone calls can be a big help. You could ask a neighbour or the cleaner to drop in a bit more often.
Discuss your plans in advance
It’s important to discuss any plans with your relatives, so they feel comfortable. If your home is nearby, think about asking family to housesit while you’re away. It’s a good way of quietly supporting elderly relatives, as it’s easier to pop by. But if this won’t work for you, another option is to set up a personal alarm service at their place. These offer 24/7 help at the touch of a pendant or alarm. You can add fall detectors and other sensors to give even more protection. During holidays, you can change who gets called if something happens.
Finding extra care support
If you’re not able to rely on family and friends, there are other paid-for services that can take the strain.
You could ask a local care home about respite breaks, but this might be tricky at short notice. Trained carers can come in to make meals or do the laundry and provide some company and interaction. They can also help your loved one feel better by helping with washing or getting dressed.
These days, many professional carers are trained specifically for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. But if having extra people around is really too much, the personal alarm service might be the best bet.
Making a plan
No-one can predict everything that might go wrong. But it’s worth making a plan in case there’s an emergency. You should include the full name, address and any other contact details of the person you’re looking out for. Then list any medication or ongoing treatment. Add the names of who should be contacted – it could be friends, family or professionals involved in their care. Don’t forget their doctor's number, and your own.
When the plan is ready, you can then email or print copies for everyone involved. Writing things down and sharing them like this always helps. You’ll think of things that you might otherwise have forgotten. And a written plan helps any situation seem more under control. Humans like a bit of certainty, so this is a good way of fending off any remaining guilt.
Enjoy your holiday
Before you zip up your suitcase, double-check that your arrangements are in place. It will help you deal with any doubts and fears you may still have. It’s also worth taking five minutes to programme any contact details from home into your mobile phone. The easier you make it to deal with any problems remotely, the better. When that’s done, you can relax. Just don’t forget your toothbrush...
About PPP Taking Care
Our response centre provides round the clock support at the press of a button and we have a range of telecare products including fall detectors and a medical helpline to help you remain independent and safe in your home.
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