In this vacation hour, Kelley Smith with CarePartners Senior Living talks about how to travel with your senior loved one to get them experiencing life once again. There’s still a lot of pandemic fear and lots of questions about bringing joy during a family trip. This segment provides an overview of concerns and considerations.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio and welcome everyone. Is Summertime in the Pacific northwest. Here it answers for elders radio and we are very excited to bring you kind of a unique program today with our wonderful Kelly Smith from care partners living, and I have asked Kelly to kind of go outside the box and we’re going to talk not about insider communities but quality of life and mainly is about vacations, about how can you travel with your senior loved one and what makes it except, you know, what are some things that you could do right now, here today to get them out and experiencing life once again, and I’m very, very thrilled to have our wonderful Kelly Smith with us again. Vice President of sales and marketing for care partners living. Kelly, welcome to answers for elders. Once again, thank you. So wonderful to figure in such an order to be on your show. Thank you for having us. We’re excited to have you because, you know what I’m telling all of our listeners, Kelly’s on the road right now, so she’s in her car but she is totally present with us and she has a wonderful passenger by her side who is who is taking her counting her minutes here. So we are going to turn try to do this show remotely. But you know, I think that’s the whole theme of today. It’s getting out and it’s traveling and it’s going places. So it couldn’t be more appropriate, Kelly, that you’re in your you’re in your vehicle right now dealing with traffic and enjoying the beautiful day. And it’s such a gorgeous day in the Pacific northwest. So let’s enjoy it. Yes, absolutely so, Kelly. You know, it’s interesting. We I’ve had interesting conversations lately about you know, I’m trying to get mom and dad to get out of the house. There’s still a lot of fear and we’ve touched on that in the past. But then the next question is if you know there’s a family reunion in Idaho or you know it’s a four hour drive, but I don’t know if I can take my loved one and I don’t know what all to do to make sure that they’re safe or that I’m doing the right thing. There’s just a lot of questions that people have. So I am really thrilled we’re going to take this hour and talk a little bit about how can I bring joy on that family vacation to a senior loved one? And so, Kelly topic, would you give us just kind of an overview of in our first segment here about, you know, what should we look for? Well, there’s a lot of things to take into consideration. First of all, mom and dath still living at home, because that’s a factor. Our Mom and dad an assisted living that’s the factor. Are you dealing with a loved one that you’d like to take to go see their family? If they have to mention that something should look and when is it appropriate to not take them? Right? Are you allowed to take a vacation without your loved one and should you feel guilty about that? And and you know, there’s a lot of things to consider. If you argue to say, what are some things you should say think about before you plan your trip and and you know, what are some things that could could be a factor and not taking them with you. What are you know, what is too long of a trip? What is not too long of a trip? Are there staycations that can be really fun to enjoy the Pacific northwest with your loved one. There’s a lot of things to consider and and we’re going to we’re going to take some time to talk about those things today. Well, I’m really cool. I’m really glad because one of the things it’s really now that the state is fully open. It’s fully open, yes, and there’s also other precautions. I know I have been speaking with Lauren at your Vin Vineyard Park Location. We’re going to be doing actually an event at Vineyard Park soon this month, and one of the things that I’m really greatful for is that they’re still taking precautions, asking people to wear masks and making sure that the residents are safe, and I think that that is a plaudable I mean, and so it’s so important and certainly the extra precautions that you got, you all take, is something that’s incredible. So tell us a little bit about you know, I guess, what are the questions most often that you get from people in your own communities about can I take mom overnight or can I take dad on a weekend trip? What is some of the questions, because a lot of times when people move somebody into assisted living, me automatically assume they can’t take them anywhere. Well, mom and dad’s been do anything wrong, they’re in trouble. Yes, you, yeah, of course you can take them on vacation. Now, the only thing we asked is coordinate that with the nurse, and the reason you want to do that is to make sure that medications are taken with you and that you know proper dosages and time, because the nurses are going to be there to oversee that. Right. What if there’s continents issues? Do you know how to handle that with your loved one so they’re not embarrassed if there’s a concern while they’re out about your mom and dad, or mom or dad have mobility issues, that could become a hindrance while you’re getting them and out of a car. Other others going are there, stairs are there? You have to take into consideration where you’re going to be staying. You know, those are the kind of things you want to have a conversation with a nurse about as far as safety for your loved one and but can you take up? Of course you can. There again, it’s a wonderful thing to get them out go see families, a beautiful thing. We just want to make sure we’re setting you up to you have everything you need when you walk out the door so that you don’t have any concerns while you’re gone right, right, and I know one of the things that’s really important, I think, and I know before I took my mom, when I was taking care of her, one of her dearest friends had terminal cancer and my mom wanted to see her before she passed away and my mom had mobility issues and I ended up contacting her as sister living. I got I sat down and actually had a care conference, which was wonderful, and they gave me everything that I needed to know. I had a kind of a checklist of things that I had to prepare for and then I contacted the airline, because we flew to to Palo Alto down to Santra, you know, Santa Clara, and we ended up, you know, dealing with the airline and make it sure that we had a wheelchair and all those things at the at the airport, and everything went smoothly. That was the beauty of how it happened. It was, you know, it was a lot easier than people realize and I was very grateful at the ability to have people accommod a. sure prepare. Don’t just by the sea to your pants and think that’s going to be the same as it was when you were, you know, in your s and mom was in her s s and I’m just going to go pick her up and we’re just going to take your girl’s weekend. There’s stop the same. Mom’s in an assistant living for a reason. So make sure you really do prepare. The more work you do up from the smoother that trip is going to be. And get that nurse in advance and saying this is where we’re going, this is where we’re going, this is what how many people are going to be there, because you also have to take into consideration if mom is under any stress, what if mom has neurological concerns? What if MOM has to Menia? There’s things you have to say. Is it going to be a family gathering? What if MOM’S SLUSTER SPOUSE? You have to take into consideration a lot of different things that you might meet some coaching on as well to make sure that not setting mom up for an emotionally stressful situation as well. Well. And I think the other thing, yeah, and other thing is sticking to routine as much as you can, because if mom’s always used to having lunch at eleven o’clock, she’s going to be extra hungry and Cranky and tired at noon. If you you’re not going to have lunch till noon. So those are some things that consider too, to make sure that you know, you get those information of what time do they usually have their meal? What time do they, you know, go to bed? What time do they you need, do they take a nap every day? If so, how can you work that in? And of course there’s exceptions to everything, but always exceptions. And but knowing you have remember if they’re in an assistant living community, what we really share with the families is how routine is that loved one and are they not right? A person is really not routine. It just kind of goes with the fall and the family needs to understand that. If they’re very routine, the family needs to have that actually kind of written down for them sure to make the transition into a new environment, even if it’s just for a weekend or a week, very smooth, not only for the family but also for that look absolutely absolutely and so obviously, for you know, in a community we can talk a little bit more in another segment about what other preparation is and how you, you know, deal with different types of conditions, whether it’s mobile mobility or dementia or anything like that. So I want to do that. But but, you know, in wrapping up this overall, one of the things, obviously, that I want to bring up is when you’re going to travel, think about accessibility. Even if a senior does not have mobility issues, it doesn’t mean that you want them going upstairs. She doesn’t mean you want them, you know, being in a situation where they’re not in a comfortable room, where throw rugs are picked up and things like that. Is that something that you would exactly? You always have to consider eyesight, you have to consider their hearing, you have to consider, you know, their environment. Always you don’t. We’ve had family it didn’t consider that and the fan, the resident comes back with a broken bone. Yeah, because of a terrible fall, and it wasn’tnybody’s fault that just didn’t consider the Environ right. Or having to crawl into a bathroom with a shower. You know, if it’s an accessible room, it won’t have that. It’ll have a curbless shower. So those are some things obviously that I always recommend. If people are traveling and going to be looking for accommodations, that would be important very much. So yeah, so we are obviously coming to the end of our first segment. So, Kelly, and a nutshell, the bottom line is you can travel with the loved one, no matter you know what their age is, and you bet you can. There’s lots of things will discuss and I think that travel is is a really important part of many seniors bucket list. I know that I would love. I I’ll never forget my when I said to my mother one day, you know, what’s still on your bucket list, and it was surprising to me how many things she really had that we didn’t get to really experience together. That I always kind of felt like, wow, you know, if I would have paid a little bit more attention to that, maybe I could do something. So obviously, moving forward we want to make sure that we touch someone on some of these issues. So, Kelly, how do we reach you? You can get hold of us. The best ways to check out our website. You can see all the communities, look at pictures and all that, and that would be www cars partners. Seeing your living actually care partners living. I’m sorry, jeers livingcom and Kelly, we love your communities. Care Partners covers any everything from memory care to assist a living to even independent living, and those are some things that’s really great because they are there to accommodate your loved one as they age. And coming up next, Kelly is going to be talking a little bit more about their communities, how they work with families in transitioning them into a vacation mode and they are there as your partner and your coach to help you do that. Will be right back, right up against the preceding podcast was provided by care partners living and answers for elders radio. To contact care partners living, go to care partners livingcom
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.