The chill is settling into the air after a particularly hot summer for much of the country. The Halloween costumes have yet to be purchased, and the thought of pumpkin pie is still last year’s memory at this point. So, right now is the best time to think about the holidays.
What? We haven’t even trick or treated yet! And, if you want to “make the good Lord laugh, tell Him/Her your plans.” This saying goes double for family caregivers. Yet, as in all good fearless caregiving, the more you can plan for contingencies, the better.
Give hosts a heads up.
Preparation for traveling during the holidays is one detail best done way in advance. Have you told your hosts how they may need to prepare their house for your loved one’s safety and comfort? Also remember, it’s best that you update relatives and friends ahead of time about your loved one’s behavior or condition so that everybody is at ease and relaxed during the holiday visit.
Check your lists. Check them twice.
Make lists and check them often prior to leaving home. Remember to have any refills on medications filled early.
Pack way in advance so that you’ll have everything needed for your loved one, as well as for yourself.
Contact the airline/bus/train about their available disability traveling services. If you’re traveling by car, plan to break up the car trip with a stopover at a park or a favorite restaurant to get some fresh air and a good stretch.
And away you go!
All of this is designed for everyone to enjoy many more treats than tricks this season, and to enjoy the Ho, Ho, Ho of the holidays.
Lois Young-Tulin, PhD, is an Assistant Geriatric Care Manager at Complete Care Strategies