Can you believe that summer is here? Whether graduation, a wedding, or a vacation, as a caregiver, a big question you may be asking yourself is should you bring your aging loved one along with you on the trip or not. If the answer is ‘yes\’, this article will help you make it a good one.

Cathy writes. . . .

“Mom was very active until about a year ago when she broke her hip. Two years ago we took her with us on a cruise to the Caribbean. Originally, my husband and I planned to go to Hawaii, but there really wasn\’t much there for my mother do. We figured a cruise would eliminate the work of getting from place to place. We chose a cruise ship with the most things we would all enjoy. Mother brought a friend with her and they shared a room. We all had a blast and, other than breakfasts and a few dinners, we hardly saw each other!!!

The hip has healed but Mom has not fully recovered mentally, physically or emotionally. She now has a caregiver during the day and I take care of her evenings and on weekends. As much as I love my mother, I desperately needed vacation this year – just for me and my husband. We had to postpone our trip by a couple of weeks so my sister could stay with her, but it was worth the wait for a much needed vacation.”

When planning a vacation, think about the reason you\’re considering taking Mom with you. Cathy and her husband really wanted Mom to come. They planned in advance to be sure everyone had something to do they would enjoy. Her mother brought a friend so she would have company. They were able to be flexible with where they went.

But, if like Cathy, a vacation together is no longer an option, maybe you can arrange for a sibling to stay with her. This is not always possible, but if it is, it\’s a good compromise and a great way to share responsibilities with other family members. Here are some other options:
Look for an assisted living community with respite care for a week or two. Or look for a “senior sitter” or an in-home aide. Does Mom have a neighbor she enjoys who can look in on her or a friend who can stay with her or she can visit?
Remember, as a caregiver you also need a respite. If Mom can\’t go with you, take your vacation with the comfort of knowing she is well cared for. And, oh yes, ….have fun!

© Copyright AgeWiseLiving™ 2009

Barbara Friesner is the country's leading Generational Coach and an expert on issues affecting Seniors and their families. She has been interviewed for Advising Boomers magazine, featured on NY1 TV's Focus on Seniors and Coping with Caregiving on wsRadio. She has also been quoted in newspapers and magazines across the country and her articles have been published in the CAPSule, the Children of Aging Parent's newsletter.