Last month, I encouraged all caregivers to take some time off and get away for at least a day or two. I would like to follow-up on that and give some practical ‘how-to’ suggestions. If you have not already done so, create an emergency folder with the following:
- Legal documents: Power of Attorney...Health Care POA...Living Will
- Phone Numbers: Location where you will be staying...Your cell number...Your loved ones Medical Doctor/Dentist/Preferred Hospital...Power Company...Clergy...Funeral Home
- Prepare food/meals that are easy to heat up or arrange for someone to come and assist at meal times.
- Prepare medicine in individualized containers and mark clearly the day and time to be taken.
- Turn off alarm clocks you may have set – (this from a friend whose parents could not figure out how to silence them!)
- Have laundry done and clean clothes available.
- Depending on their level of self-care, you may want to ask someone to come and physically stay with your loved one or at least come and check on them once or twice a day. (Give them a key to the house!)
- CLEARLY explain to your loved one when and where you are going and when you will return.
- Set up a calendar with large numbers and mark your vacation.
- If you still are unsure, check with an assisted living facility as they frequently will provide Respite Care for a week or more.
Above all, pray and vacate! You need the time away to re-charge and renew your desire to fulfill the responsibilities God has given you to honor and care for your loved one!