A CAREGiver's Role in Senior Summer Vacations

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Summer is in full swing, and, for many families, that includes a vacation. As a CAREGiver, you can help your seniors prepare for those trips or create a memorable staycation. Keep reading for suggestions and tips to help get your seniors ready for travel, even create a travel experience together. 

If your seniors have trip plans, it's likely they're part of the travel trend that's gaining steam: multi-generational travel. This vacationing style certainly has benefits for the families that can get multiple generations together to reconnect and build lasting memories.

Ways You Can Help Your Traveling Seniors
  • Get talking! Learn about their upcoming vacations and who is attending. How long has it been since they’ve seen each other? What fun activities and outings are planned? Find out what they’re most excited about, and follow up after the trip to learn of all the new memories. If time permits, you could even break out old family photos, learn more about the people vacationing and let your seniors take a trip down memory lane.
  • Pack the bags. Help your seniors do laundry and pack based on their vacation venues. Even if traveling to a warm climate, remember to pack long sleeves, as seniors tend to chill more easily. Don’t forget that, even on vacation, there’s still routine to keep, which means your seniors need to have their medications portioned out for the trip duration.
  • Organize the house. Even though your seniors will be away, it's nice to have a clean house to come home to after a fun vacation. Help your seniors tidy up the house, do laundry and water plants before leaving. It's a good idea to make sure newspapers and mail are held at the post office until the return date, and ask if there’s someone to water any plants. If there is a pet in the home, you can help make sure proper arrangements have been made for pet care.
  • Get settled after the trip. Help your seniors get settled by unpacking and doing the laundry. Ask about the trip and their experiences. If there are photos to upload to a computer or take to a photo service for developing, offering to help is a great idea. And it could be a good precursor to helping your seniors create a scrapbook of the vacation!
But what if your seniors aren’t vacationing with family, have no travel plans or can’t travel any longer? There's plenty of ways to bring a vacation experience to your seniors.

Planning a Senior Staycation or Vacation Experience
  • Plan a staycation. If your seniors are up for it physically, you might plan a few outings (can be done over multiple shifts) to local attractions. Find a list of staycation ideas and venues on your city's convention and tourism board's website. Share the list with your seniors and see what fun you can plan.
  • Experience an adventure. Just because your seniors can’t go to Paris doesn’t mean that experiencing the city and its magic is out of reach. Watch a YouTube video of Paris, Google pictures of the city, rent “Midnight in Paris” or check out one of these10 films that will make you fall in love with Pariseven if travel is out of the question.
  • Reconnect with family and friends. Seniors who are alone or isolated for long periods may have lost touch with beloved family members or friends. Try to reconnect them through a Skype or Facebook call, arrange a lunch at the house, or assist them by sending emails or handwritten letters or cards. If you want something to aid in ongoing meaningful conversations, consider a remote book club. The senior, along with family and friends, could agree on books to read, and then share their thoughts about the book by email or phone.
  • Create a memory box. If your seniors have dementia or Alzheimer's, this might be a great activity to help stir up happy memories and have great conversation. The box can be a simple shoe box filled with keepsakes, like postcards, recipes, pictures or holiday ornaments. As you and your seniors go through items, if something is irreplaceable, it is best to not include it on the chance it could get damaged. This activity will help exercise touch and could even be inspiration for creating multiple memory boxes.
Regardless of how your seniors experience travel and vacation this summer, we hope you enjoy the time spent together.


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