Everywhere you go these days, you hear friends, family and colleagues talking about their summer vacation plans and you are jealous. You don’t just envy their plans – that family from your daughter’ soccer team is planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast and your 30-something coworker who doesn’t seem to have a care in the world is heading to Australia – you envy the fact they are taking time at all. What you wouldn’t give to take even a weekend trip. But because you are a caregiver, you think vacations are a thing of your past. They don’t have to be! It is possible to take some time off and or some time away.
Read on to learn how plan your getaway. Do you want to take your elderly parents on vacation with you? Are you looking for coverage so you can get away on your own? Need advice about how to request some R&R time after all of those personal and sick days you’ve used to care for your parents? Maybe you have booked a trip this summer and now you need help managing the guilt. We address all of that in The Caregiver’s Guide To Taking a Vacation.
6 Tips for Vacationing With Elderly Parents and Young Kids at the Same Time
- Have a communications plan. If you want the freedom to go somewhere without your parents or kids, make sure they can reach you or call 911 in case of an emergency. Peace of mind plays a huge role in whether or not you enjoy your time.
- Plan an activity just for your kids and another just for your parents. Togetherness is nice, but too much togetherness could work against everyone’s happiness. For group activities, consider short excursions like a drive, or a lunch.
- Keep a loose schedule. Having a plan is great but you need to build time into the day. Kids dawdle. Elderly parents need time. You don’t want to rush or feel rushed.
- Mornings or evenings are a nice time for intergenerational fun. Encourage your parents to tell stories or your kids to ask questions about your parents’ life before grandchildren. Or play Checkers together. If you do play board games, make sure the lighting is adequate for old eyes and the skill level is easy enough for all players.
- Try to stay in the present. Parents can push our buttons like no one else, except maybe our siblings. Try to stay focused on who your parents are now and not bring your entire childhood on vacation with you.
- If your children are young, enlist your parents in bedtime help. If your parents need help, enlist your kids in assisting them.
Feel too guilty to go away? We’ve got some tips on managing guilt. CLICK HERE.
You’ve heard about respite care, but how do you find it? We tell you how. CLICK HERE.
Worried about asking for more time off at work? We’ve got advice. CLICK HERE.
Caregiver, taking a vacation is within your rights. And, with some planning, you can make it happen. Bon voyage!
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