Many family caregivers believe that taking a vacation is a mythical situation that never actually happens. But you can take a vacation as a caregiver. You simply have to do the legwork to make it happen.
Plan Everything Out
The very first stage is figuring out what you’re going to do, where you’re going to go, and who your backup is going to be. Hiring elder care providers gives you an added layer of security because you know that they can handle whatever might happen. Write out your plan and go over it a few times to see if you’re missing anything.
Make Note of an Emergency Contact
One of the biggest parts of your plan needs to be your emergency contact information. This is the person that the elder care providers will call if there is any type of emergency at all. The emergency contact person is not you. This is vital, because you’re not going to be able to take care of whatever is going on. Let your emergency contact be the point person.
Supply Helpers with as Much Information as Possible
For a few days or even weeks before you leave, take some notes about anything that might help someone taking over for you. If your senior has specific preferences, jot them down. Write out detailed notes on routines. Leave information about how you handle certain situations. The person taking over for you won’t get everything perfectly right, but that’s okay. Especially if you’ve given them all the help that you can.
Relax and Enjoy Your Vacation
Once you’re on vacation, you’re on vacation. It’s going to be tempting to check in with your aging family member and with the people in charge while you’re gone, but this is counterproductive. You’re taking time away in order to recharge, to refresh yourself, and to relax. To do all of those things properly, you need to let go of the need to check in and just let the situation take care of itself. You’ve done the hard work to make sure everyone is prepared, so let it go.
Everyone’s life is different, of course. If you still feel as if taking a full vacation is not possible, start out with a weekend away. The more that you prove to yourself that this really is possible, the more likely you’ll be to be able to take longer periods of time away when you need to do so.