Whether it’s young children or an older adult, vacations can be a special kind of challenge for in-home caregivers. The daily tasks that need to be done around the house often are compounded by the absence of a support system and familiar resources like pharmacies and groceries.
To say nothing of the physical challenges many older people face when travelling anywhere.
Don’t overlook opportunities to spend recreational time with family members young and old in the community where you live. Popularized as the staycation, local options also present an opportunity to include other members of the extended family who otherwise may not be involved in day-to-day caregiving. At the same time, the company of those other family members at an enjoyable activity can provide the primary caregiver with a well-deserved respite.
Our professional caregivers have noted some of the following activities and attractions you can enjoy without the cost of a hotel room and still allow younger and older members of the family to have a good time … together.
With exhibits designed for kids of all ages, these attractions often provide a chance for grandparents and youngsters to explore and learn together, whether your younger companions are in the “hey, look at me” stage or have graduated to science and technology.
Outdoor concerts and plays generally are designed to appeal to a broad audience and may even give grandma or grandpa an excuse to remind their descendants that there was, indeed, a musical scene before streaming.
What’s history to one generation might be current events to another. Historical sites and history museums sometimes spark conversations that can bridge the generation gap. Something as simple as a plaque commemorating a long-gone ballpark or train station can be brought to life by someone who actually was there.
Smaller Amusement Parks
In many communities, there still are smaller, old-fashioned amusement parks where rides may be less dramatic, but so are the lines and prices. You may even find one that features midway games, where age and experience often trumps youth and skill.
Nearby conservation areas usually combine accessible outdoor trails with indoor museum-type displays that explain the natural history and ecology of the area, so not everybody has to go on the hike to make the trip worthwhile.
A couple of other options that might include a small investment in lodging are indoor water parks and state parks. At the waterpark, younger guests have access to fun physical activity in a safe and supervised environment. In state parks, there are the usual hiking, swimming, fishing and other outdoor activities for the more adventurous. Meanwhile, those who have a more relaxed approach to recreation can enjoy the comforts of the attached hotel or park lodge, or even visit restaurants, shops or other attractions nearby.
The most important part of planning any family vacation, whether travelling a long distance or staying near home, is there is something of interest for everybody.
That includes the caregiver.
Your role may mean that your summer vacation experience will be different, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an additional source of stress for you or your loved ones.