How many of us plan for the unexpected medical emergency when we travel? It’s scary enough to deal with the obvious urgent medical concerns, but what about the added stress if you are a caregiver? Who will take care of those traveling with you? If your loved one is at home and you have arranged for short-term coverage, what happens if you are unable to return home when planned? All in all, it’s a good idea to take some time before you travel to plan for the unexpected. While this list of considerations isn’t exhaustive, I hope it gives you a starting point.
5 Things a Caregiver Should Include on Their Pre-Travel “To Do” List:
1) Prepare an emergency contact list complete with names, relation, physical address, email addresses, and phone numbers. Remember to include your name and mobile phone number. Prioritize this list and indicate in which order and for what purpose each contact should be called. Give a copy of this list to a family member or trusted friend and take two copies with you. This way, if you have to give a copy to medical personnel and aren’t able to get it back, you’ll have another copy to reference.
2) Prepare a fact sheet of your loved one’s medical condition, unique reactions or behaviors, and current medications and keep it with your emergency contact list. Whether your loved one is traveling with you or not, it’s always good to have this information updated and available should something happen to you or them while you are traveling.
3) Research local home care agencies both at home and the area in which you are traveling and have their contact information with you in case you need coverage on short notice. Home Helpers has agencies throughout the United States that you can find at www.HomeHelpersHomeCare.com. Our local offices will be happy to help you in an emergency.
4) Organize and share your detailed itinerary. If your loved one is staying home, make sure their caregiver knows when and where you will be and how to contact you. If your loved one is traveling with you, entrust a family member or friend with your itinerary in case something untoward happens and they need to locate you. Include contact numbers and websites for hotels, airlines, and car rental agencies in case they need to help you reschedule travel.
5) Think ahead and plan for how to pay for costs associated with an emergency when traveling. Tucking away some extra cash (and not spending it on souvenirs), remembering to pack your insurance card, and having the means to pay for alternative travel or extra days away are all smart considerations. And speaking of unexpected delays, it’s also good to take an extra day or two of medications just in case.
Traveling can be a fun adventure or a tedious aspect of your job; these days travel is stressful under the best of circumstances given the extra security precautions we all must take. However, with a little pre-planning the traveling caregiver can lessen the stress and increase their peace of mind.