The holidays are a time when many families plan a vacation together. If often includes three generations of loved ones. With careful and thoughtful planning, inter-generational getaways can allow busy families time to create long-lasting memories.
What can you do to make the trip more enjoyable for everyone?
Here are a few suggestions.
4 Tips for Planning an Intergenerational Vacation
- Research before Booking: The first step in planning your holiday getaway is to take time to research options. From the destination to the hotel and method of transportation, the details are important. Consider a hotel suite where your senior loved one has a quiet place to retreat to away from the sometimes noisy younger generation. If your loved one isn’t safe staying alone in the hotel, call the concierge at places you are considering staying to see if they can make arrangements for a respite caregiver. The concierge may have someone available or be able to help you enlist the support of a local home care agency.
- Be Considerate in Expectations: While your elders might not want to slow you down or cause you to incur additional expenses, sometimes it is necessary. For example, booking direct flights might be a little more expensive. But it is often the best way of traveling with both the older and the younger generations. If you are driving, be reasonable about how long you can all be in the car each day and plan rest breaks to stretch your legs. Also, remember to make special accommodations for both the younger and the elder generation at the attractions you visit. For example, all the walking at Disneyland or a national park can be tough on little legs and older knees. Call ahead or check the website to see if you can reserve a wheelchair and/or a stroller.
- Prepare a Medical File: No one likes to think the worst will happen during vacation. But planning ahead in case an older loved one has a medical emergency away from home is important. You can use an app like CareZone or MyMedical to make it easier. Both allow you to safely store medical information such as a medication list, medical history, and physician contact information. You can use your smart phone to quickly access it in the event of an emergency.
- Communication Shortcuts: Traveling with a senior who has Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia brings unique challenges. One of which can be communicating when their verbal skills are lost. It might help to create small cards that quickly explain your loved one’s situation. Then use them to hand to TSA agents during the screening process, flight attendants and others. It can help with communication while protecting your family member’s dignity.
Respite Care in Michigan
If your senior loved one isn’t up for a holiday trip this year, a respite stay at one of our Michigan senior living communities might be the solution.
Your family member can stay with us and enjoy all of the benefits and support our residents receive. You can relax and spend time with your own family knowing the older adult you love is safe and happy with us!