Traveling Without Your Veteran: Tips For Caregivers
It’s not always as easy as picking up and leaving to venture out on a trip by yourself if you are a military veteran caregiver. There are things to be done, calendars to be attended to and things set in place to make sure things go more smoothly while you are away. After over a decade of being a caregiver, I decided to put together a list of tips to help others who are preparing to travel while leaving the one they care for at home. These tips will help you have the most enjoyable time you can possibly have while you are on the road, and it will also help your veteran to remain as cool, calm and collected as possible while you are away.
- Review your calendar before you go. Reschedule unnecessary appointments during the time you will be away.
- Be sure you have an up to date ICE Manual that you keep in a place easy to find while you are away. The In Case of Emergency manual should include important information such as the names, addresses and phone numbers of friends and family members for your veteran and fill in caregiver to use to contact important ICE contacts. Also be sure to include names of doctors, medications, hospitals and other important information that will be useful in case of an emergency while you are away. Our ICE Manuel is in a bright blue binder that can always be found on our office desk next to the computer.
- Find friends and/or family members who will call to talk to your veteran while you are away. I go a step further and arrange for friends to stop by our home, every day while I am away.
- Find the right fill in caregiver, be it a family member or a friend. Our children are adults and are experts in the field of, “making sure dad is taken care of” while I am away. Two of our adult children are currently living at home and are able to assist if I need to go away on short trips.
- Before you leave, make sure you have enough food, beverages and meals prepped out for the time you will be away. Maybe even arrange for food delivery.
- Be sure all medications for your veteran are filled and arranged before you leave.
- Be sure your home is clean and organized before you go. I am a huge advocate of always making sure everything is in it’s place at all times. It makes things easier for not only you, but the veteran you are taking care who heavily relies on structure and organization. Make sure the fill in caregiver continues to keep structure and organization in your home while you are away.
- Make sure your veteran knows your schedule. I make sure my veteran has a schedule of where I am going, what I will be doing and the times I may or may not be able to talk with him on the phone. This way, when he texts I can remind him to look at my schedule and I will return his message later. If it is not an emergency, my veteran knows I will contact him when I can but not at every beckoned call.
- Be sure to tell your veteran you are thinking of him or her while you are away.
With just a few of these simple steps, my life has been much more easy when I travel. If you prepare before you travel, you’ll experience many less interruptions and things will run more smoothly.
Enjoy your trip!Written by Patti on Sunday, November 18th, 2018