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Tips for Enjoying a Camping Trip with Your Senior Parent

July 12th, 2018

By: Lenora Alabi

For many families, summertime means going on vacation. Trips are a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time together and make memories you can cherish well into the future. A very popular type of vacation during the summer months is camping. Getting outside into nature allows you to disconnect, enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells you may not be able to enjoy on a regular basis, and really focus on your time together. As a family caregiver, it is very important when planning a family camping trip that will involve your elderly parent that you are prepared to manage their needs, and keep them safe and healthy.

Use these tips to help you enjoy camping trips with your senior parent:

  • If you have always camped in tents before, evaluate your senior's abilities and needs, and consider changing to a cabin or even an RV. This will provide more amenities that can allow your parent to stay more comfortable, and make their care needs more accessible.
  • Pack extra supplies for your aging parent to accommodate their changing needs. For example, even if they are comfortable sleeping in a tent, consider bringing along an air mattress for greater comfort, and ease getting into and out of bed.
  • Consider there medication needs. If your senior takes prescription medications that need to be chilled, or that have other specifications, make sure you have planned how you will meet these needs effectively. Consider talking to their doctor about your trip, and get recommendations for how to ensure they can stay compliant with her medications while camping.
  • Be sure to plan alternative activities for your senior. They may not be able to keep up on a long hike, or may not be interested in activities such as swimming in a lake. While the rest of your family is enjoying activities like these, have another activity your parent can do, or prepare for them to be an observer, such as bringing a comfortable chair and binoculars so they can relax and watch nature around them.

Elderly care can make a tremendous difference in your parent's lives on a day-to-day basis, but as a family caregiver you know there are times when your normal care routine may not be enough.  Situations may arise when you are unable to give your aging parent the care they need due to other circumstances in your life. You, your child, or your partner may get sick, making it dangerous for you to be with your parent and potentially expose them to germs. Your child may need you with them to participate in an activity, or you may wish to attend a special event for your child. You may experience stress, and feel you need some time away from your care routine to focus on your own health and well-being. You may even have a special activity, such as a vacation or getaway, you want to participate in. Whatever the reason, respite care can be an invaluable resource. With this type of care, an elderly home care services provider steps in on a temporary basis to offer your parent consistent care so you can take the time you need, whether that is a few hours or a few days.