Date: August 10, 2023

Author: Jeremy Rodriguez


Let’s face it, being the primary caretaker of elderly parents can make it difficult to take a break from your responsibilities. But don’t let that discourage you. Everyone needs a vacation! This blog will provide you with tons of helpful information on how to make sure your loved ones are taken care of while you enjoy your dream getaway.

Arranging Care for Your Parent While You’re Away

If you plan on going on vacation and leaving your aging parents at home, it is important to arrange for their care while you are gone. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  • Ask for Help. This can include your child, a sibling, or a friend. Make sure that they understand and can handle the needs of your loved one for the length of time you’ll be away.

  • Hire a Caregiver or Contact an Agency. Make sure they are licensed if you go with the former. They may cost less than an agency, but you will have to properly vet them to make sure they meet all requirements as an aide. If you go with an agency, you can guarantee they will meet all requirements.

  • Ask Their Routine Caregiver for Extended Care. If your loved one already has a daytime caregiver while you’re at work, you can incentivize the caregiver by paying them more to provide care for extended hours. You will have to check to make sure this meets their contract’s parameters, though.

  • Consider Respite Care. Many assisted-living communities offer short-term stays for an afternoon or even a few days or weeks. We’ll take a deeper look at short-term respite care for elderly in the next section.

  • Have Regular Check-Ins. If you’re worried about your loved one while you’re away, try to have a plan to check in on them. This can include daily video chats or phone calls to the provider.

  • Keep Important Documents Organized. It may be a good idea to have all documents, such as insurance or financial information, easily available for the caregiver.

  • Purchase Travel Insurance. In the event of an emergency, you may need to cancel plans at the last minute. This will ensure you don’t lose more money in the long run.

Six Helpful Tips for Traveling with Elderly Parents

Traveling is undoubtedly a fulfilling experience for people of all ages. Aging should not discourage one from taking vacations. As an older adult, traveling can have several health benefits, including boosting the immune system, relieving stress, and increasing happiness, among other advantages. If you choose to bring your elderly family member along on your vacation, consider the following:

  1. Manage expectations. If your parent requires a lot of rest, the trip may be at a slower pace than what you’re used to. When you discuss these expectations and plan your itinerary around your parent’s needs, you’re bound to have a wonderful experience together no matter what your destination.

  2. Visit a Doctor Before Leaving. Once you know it’s medically safe for your parent to travel, refill medications and leave them in the original labeled pharmacy containers. Ask the doctor for a medication list and instructions on taking them; pack the whole stash in a zippered bag and keep it in carry-on luggage.

  3. Get Accessible Accommodations. Make sure your hotel or resort is accessible for your parent and make sure they have proper access to the food they need if they have dietary restrictions.

  4. Choose Activities Everyone Can Enjoy. When planning vacation activities, make sure they’re inclusive and accessible. If walking is required, rent an electric wheelchair for your loved one. Confirm accessibility requirements ahead of time to avoid any inconvenience.

  5. Consider your travel method. If you’re traveling by air, it might be a good idea to choose an aisle seat for your parent. Similarly, if you’re driving, make sure to take breaks after covering long distances.

  6. Don’t forget to care for yourself. This is your vacation, and everyone should return feeling rejuvenated. Consider bringing a caregiver with you to ease the burden if you can afford it, or plan a spa day to pamper both you and your parents. Make sure this vacation is enjoyable for you, as well as for them!

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Respite Care for Elderly Parents

As we mentioned earlier, respite care is temporary care for elderly patients and primary caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. It can be scheduled for as little as an afternoon or for several days or weeks and can take place in the individual’s own home, at a healthcare facility, or at an adult day center. If you’re looking for long-term or weekend care for the elderly, you may want to look into respite care. Keep in mind, Medicare will cover most of the costs up to five days in a row, and Medicaid may also offer assistance. But mostly, your payment will be out of pocket. Be sure to look into other types of government help for additional financial assistance. For more information, check out the ARCH National Respite Network or Eldercare Locator for assistance in finding appropriate respite care.

Date: August 10, 2023

Author: Jeremy Rodriguez


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*The Griswold service model varies depending on which state the office is in. In some states, our service is solely to refer thoroughly screened professional caregivers. In other states, we employ and supervise the caregivers. In every state, we're 100% focused on quality services and responsiveness to your needs. For each office, you'll see its service model and learn how we can best help you and your family with your home care needs. (See item 7 and item 19 of our current FDD for additional information.)