Caregiving and vacation

Caregivers and care receivers need vacations. They are vital for rejuvenating the mind and spirit and allowing for some much needed rest and relaxation. That said, preparation is key.

Make sure you have enough supplies to properly care for your loved one, plan activities that can be enjoyed by both, and ensure that the accomodations will suit your needs. Not everything will be perfect but proper planning can alleviate unnecessary stresses.

I am currently writing this from a rental home in Black Butte Ranch near Sisters, Oregon. Our son and his family are visiting from Georgia so I do have some help on this trip. I have been able to get out and enjoy some biking on the ranch while my daughter-in-law stayed with Kay. We have some full family activities planned in the surrounding areas with Kay, and she has enjoyed playing cards and games with the grandkids.

This trip was about a 2.5 hour drive from Salem so we didn’t have to worry about packing for a flight. We have taken a number of flights in the past however, and this requires extra planning. It helps that these are typically visits to family; and if you are in a similar situation I have a few tips based on our experience

  • Purchase and extra walker if used and store it at the home of your family member at your destination. Kay has a walker and cane at the kid’s house to use when we travel to Georgia.
  • For supplies such as chux, wipes, incontinence briefs, order them and have them shipped to your destination. We order these supplies on Amazon and have them shipped directly to our Son’s house so they will be there when we arrive.
  • In our experience, when we need to check medical equipment such as a walker, the airlines will do so for free, but it does sometimes get beat up on the plane so we finally decided to purchase one to keep in Georgia.
  • If you require oxygen, talk to the airline and your oxygen supplier to ensure you have your needed oxygen in flight and on your trip. Some airlines will have you hook up to their equipment and others will let you use the portable units from you oxygen supplier.
    • Be sure to contact your oxygen supplier well in advance to secure the needed travel equipment. Our supplier requires at least a 2 week notice.
  • Always discuss any special needs with the airline before arriving for your flight. They will try to accomodate your needs as best as they can.
  • If you can replenish supplies locally at your destination, just take enough to get by and purchase them after you arrive.

Taking these steps will help your trip go as smooth as possible. Think about your situation and needs and plan ahead for best results.

If you have additional tips, please leave a comment.