Column: How caregivers can take a guilt-free vacation

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Commentary by Lisa Dillman

Those who are caregivers may find it hard to get away this summer because they have so much responsibility at home. However, it’s important for caregivers to have time to refresh and avoid burnout. If you’re a caregiver, here are some tips on how you can enjoy a guilt-free vacation.

There are a few in-home options to consider:

  • Asking a relative/friend is a great option, so your loved one can be in the comfort of their own home. Also, you may have better communication with a friend/relative than a paid caregiver or community.
  • Hiring the usual daytime caregiver to stay the night will help ease the patients’ mind, since they are already familiar with this person. They would just need to be acquainted with the client’s nighttime routine.
  • Hire a licensed home care aide if your loved one requires a greater level of care. This can get pricy, but costs vary according to location and responsibilities.

Before it’s time for your vacation, take time to make sure important documents are updated, including Power(s) of Attorney (including substitute Power(s) of Attorney who will remain in-town), Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) forms, living wills and insurance policies.

Many senior communities offer respite care, providing a wide range of services. Investigate any insurance coverage for this stay. In order for your loved ones to have an easy transition into this new environment, consider visiting several times before the trip with your loved one.

Preparing for vacation can be a daunting task, but taking a break is crucial for a caregiver’s well-being. Talking to an elder law attorney or being a part of Applegate & Dillman’s Life Care Planning service can help connect you to resources and prepare for your time away.

Bon voyage!

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