How to care for an elderly relative when travelling

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How to care for an elderly relative when travelling 

Safe travels

Not everyone is fortunate enough to travel. Some people are in difficult financial situations, while others have personal and professional commitments they simply cannot drag themselves away from. 

If you are caring for an elderly relative, such as a parent or grandparent, you may feel like you’re unable to leave them to go on vacation.

But as long as you put the right measures in place, there is no reason you can’t take a week or two off to let your hair down and see the world. 

To help you enjoy your trip and have peace of mind that your loved one is in good hands, here are some tips for caring for your elderly relative when travelling.

Ask for help

If you are the primary carer for your parent or grandparent, ask other members of your family to chip in while you’re away. Your siblings, or other relatives, will be able to hold the fort while you're gone and ensure that your loved one will get all the care and assistance they need. 

If you don’t have anyone in your life you could ask for help, you can always hire a professional carer for the duration of the trip. Although this will cost money, you can avoid guilt knowing they are in the hands of a trained expert. 

If necessary, leave detailed instructions for whoever will be looking after them. This should cover everything from medication to important appointments.

Check in

You want your relative to know you are thinking of them, even while you are enjoying yourself in an exotic destination. Make time each day to give them a quick call or at the very least send a text message. 

They will appreciate the gesture and it gives you a chance to find out how they are doing and if there is any more assistance they require. 

Make sure both you and they are aware of the time difference, if any, so you can arrange a suitable time to chat.

Put safety measures in place

If your elderly relative lives alone, you may be worrying about something happening to them at home. You can prioritise their wellbeing and put your mind at ease by investing in a few safety measures. 

Alarms for the elderly allow them to call for help if they have a fall or are suddenly taken ill. If your loved one is in distress, they can contact emergency services at the touch of a button and be admitted to hospital if necessary. It is also effective in the unlikely event of a home break-in, fire, or other emergency.

Enjoy yourself

As long as you have put a thorough care plan in place, you should try to enjoy yourself as much as possible. Looking after an elderly relative is difficult work, and can be physically and emotionally draining. 

See your vacation as an essential form of recuperation that will allow you to provide your loved one with the best possible care when you get home.

Safe travels!

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