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. In this segment, Kelley talks about preparing for a trip. Bring a fact sheet listing their doctor, primary care physician, everyone that might need to be contacted in case of an emergency. Make sure you have a care plan, all the medications. Does the destination have everything in place should there be an emergency? Consider the conditions that might cause trouble if they have hearing, eyesight or mobility issues, because you don’t want to get there and have it be an unsafe, unpleasant time for all of you.
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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 back everyone to answers for elders radio. Vacation. Addition, as we are talking about taking seniors on vacation and experiencing fun in the sun in the summertime, and we are here with wonderful Kelly Smith, who is a vice president of sales and marketing for care partners living and a dear friend of mine. Kelly, I’m always glad you were with us. I always look forward to our time together. Me Too, I enjoyed this so much. Thank you so much for having us well. I’m glad you’re here so, Kelly. You have hundreds of residents in your many communities and obviously there are times when when they want to go out away on vacation. Do you have sort of sort of any sort of protocols, and if you do, what are the kind of things that you look for to help? Well, what all the things ritel families is? We always recommend to take a face sheet with them so that there those are the emergency they don’t have to think on their feet. WHOSE MOM’s doctor? WHO’s mom a primary care who’s feel who’s who is, everybody mom needs to have in case, but work so in a copy of the faciet. Also have a meeting before you go with the nurse. We want to make sure, like I said earlier, that you have all the medications that you need. Do you have a care plan put together in case there was an emergency? Do you have everything in place for where you’re staying? Is it it doesn’t have the right things in place for mom should there be an emergency? Do you have it set up so there aren’t any emergencies? Have you thought about the environment for MOM’s mobility hearing? I sight anything at all, because you don’t want to get there and have it the unsafe and unpleasant time for all of you. So a real quick care meeting with the nurse. I’m going to take mom this is for how long she can make sure you have everything you need ready to go on the day you’re ready. We can have Bob Past, we can have mom ready and the assisted living communities can help with all of that for you so you don’t have to go and and get mom pass when you water ready to go. In a lot of those communities can get have all that set up for you. Yeah, and if you know where you’re going and for how long, they can also give you some advice on what kind of things to make that trip a little more pleasant for you. MMM. Well, and I think to when you’re talking about, you know, helping you get packed. You guys, because if you are doing medication management, would you then provide the medications to the to the adult children, to to do that for them? Or has that arrange it? We would actually give them the medications along with a list of when and where, no, how, the medication needs to be this person to what times. We’ve actually gone as far as to print out what they call a mare so that the children can actually keep track of the medications until they return back in our care. So there’s there’s a lot of things that can happen so that it can be very smooth, the very smooth transition while they’re gone. So there’s lots of ways to do this so, again, that that can be just as smooth as butter for for the families. You don’t want to get on vacation. Old Shoot, we didn’t get MOM’s med well, we left him at the assistant living community. No, no, no. And you also don’t want to just come and get her and just and speak throughout the door. You need to talk to the nurse to make sure that anything mom could possibly need. What about continents products? Did you pack enough? Did you talk to the nurse to find out how many is mom actually using for the day? Because you don’t want her to be embarrassed on vacation, especially if you’re going to be in a new place. She might be nervous, she might already be embarrassed. You want to make sure her dignities intact, especially if you’re going to be in a family function. What does her toileting schedule look like? And, like you said earlier, is she, as she a routine person? She had breakfast every morning at thirty and lunch at twelve and dinner at thirty and if she has to mention if she get she has sundowning. Does she get agitated a certain time of the day? Is it good for her to take a nap at three o’clock? How can the nurse and that CARE team set you up for some success that you can take mom right Um? If you have a family that has money and can afford it, would you recommend maybe even bringing hiring a caregiver? HMM, they’ve been families and have actually done that. We’ve recommended places like Home Care Assistance in a shirt hole mill that can actually have a caregiver go on vacation with absolutely depending on on the you know, there’s there’s so many auctions out there where you can make breas. But just again, we tell family to keep in mind you can have the best experience and have a wonderful memory with your loved one if you if you plan, plan plans, plan plans. Don’t just come and pick mom up and go figure out when we get there. No, no, no, no, not exactly, because if everything you know ready for your loved one, they’re going to have a wonderful experiences. So will you. You just have to make sure you really think it through so that again, you don’t have any surprise that you didn’t get them a room. That’s got to step in. Tough, but they haven’t had step ins up for the last three years, right, right, and then you and their full risk and now you’re worried every time they have to use a restroom. I mean at they even use the restroom on their own in the last several years. Yeah, where. You know what? What are some of the things that the care facility they are in now is helping them with. And is that going to be too much for you? Sure? Do you need some help? WHO’s going to be helping you while you’re on vacation? Are you trying to bite off too much? Are you going to have a family? It’s going to help you once you get there. Yeah, it did. Point of question. You might want to think about it. They’re going to be solely on you. And and are you really trying to do too much because you want to have that beautiful memory, but yourself one? Those are some things to really be honest about. And you can sew a wonderful time, but it’s not. It’s not. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help to absolutely there. I might be smell. Recommend it and I am having that cap out of it now. And I think to make a sure that you touch base with the staff and in all areas. Like you know, maybe we realize that mom always has to have milk with our meal every time these days and she may never drink milk before and and those things change all of a sudden. My mom developed a sweet tooth and she’d never had much of a sweet tooth before. But you know, we learn a lot that that’s the last taste bud to go is a sense of sweet. So as seniors get older they crave sweets more and that’s something I think that’s really important to understand a little bit about. You know, get make sure that mom has to have, you know, a little piece of chocolate every day or, you know, anything like that that would make that they’re here, you know, here her feel comfortable that you can take care of her. The other thing, obviously, Kelly, is if you’re going to a family’s home, like, say, of family vacation. We may not realize, the general public may not realize, but you know, how white is their doorway to the bathroom? If they’re going to stay in a private home, if they if they’re in a walker or something like that, they need to be able to get into that bathroom. Are there steers that have to you know, they have to navigate? Maybe it’s better for mom to stay in, you know, in a hotel where things are accessible and things like that. Those are other obviously consider and how much do you really want to share with a family about Mama’s health condition? Is Mama private person? Maybe staying in the family home would be something she wouldn’t really appreciate everybody knowing what she’s dealing with too. Good Point. One that has dementia. What if they become agitated? Is that going to embarrass you and and embarrass them? You have to also remember that the most most important thing is their dignity. You always want to keep that intact on a vacation. You want to make sure you’re setting them up for success right. So want to make sure that they get proper rest. But that’s why that care conference with the nurses so important, because she’s going to set you up to be successful on your vacation. Absolutely, absolutely, and so obviously, in you guys, serve as almost kind of a coach and certainly encourage you, you know, encourage families, if possible, to do these things and to, you know, to check off that bucket list. If they want to take a trip to, you know, Asslan Oregon to see the Shakespeare Festival, how can we make that happen? Or little things like that that you may not have even thought about? And certainly there there will be things, obviously, that will be of concern that we, you may not be able to experience. But you know, I am venturing to guess there’s a lot more things you can do than what you can’t and to just to talk about that bucket list is really, really vitally important. So it also knowing what kind of things mom and dad really would enjoy doing and don’t assume that they wouldn’t enjoy it just teachers. You think it would be too much for the meither talk to Um. Yeah, I find out what kind of stuff they would really like. Don’t assume they’re not going to enjoy it just because you think they couldn’t handle it. You might be really surprised. Well, that’s the thing. I think that’s that kind of surprised me when my mom was in assisted living and she said I want to go see Beverley one last time, and I go and I go let’s figure out if we can make that happen, and I think she was really surprised and really, you know, amazed that she could actually do that. So I was really glad that we were able to do that in with the support of the community that she was living in. We felt comfortable to be able to do that. And and you know, what I do know is everybody in the industry, whether they’re in the airlines, or the you know, or the hotels, anything. I found nothing but a willingness to help and support. So that’s, I think, one of the beautiful, beautiful things about this whole thing. Yeah, yeah, everybody, you know, you will find that the community is they want to have that resident come back refreshed and with stories about the wonderful time they had. No more than willing to help. Help, help you get them ready for a wonderful yeah. Absolutely. So, you know, in our next segment I want to talk a little bit about if mom and dad are still living at home and they’re independent, are there’s some considerations that we should talk about? Are there some things that we should, you know, maybe address or prepare for a little bit differently? I’m sure there’s some differences. And then, and let’s talk a little bit to about maybe if mom or dad has a little bit of dementia or something like that, how can we best work with them in the most appropriate way? So, anyway, Kelly, how do we reach you? In the meantime, the best place to reach up on our website. Go again, you can check out the different locations pictures. It would be care partners livingcom awesome. And so coming up next everyone. Kelly will be back and we’re going to talk a lot about traveling with our lumbarns onts again. 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.