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Tips for Texas Caregivers Planning Travel

Posted Apr 10 2008 6:08am

Continuing our series of the primary caregiver preparing to be away from their aging care recipient due to travel. I'm speaking with several "expert" advisors on how best to prepare before leaving home.

Today Lynn and Harry Shank, owners of Texas Assurance Care in Austin, give practical advice to family caregivers. They are well known through-out the senior community here in Austin and excel in resources for seniors.

Lynn tells us that you, the primary caregiver, can comfortably travel without much worry if you have put the following in place. And she also advises us to do what Sally Watkins, the Travel Agent suggests!

In the interview you'll hear good tips on preparing for travel - make sure you don't leave home without them!

1. Make a list or your loved one's (care recipient) center of influence with you safely tucked away into your carry on bag. The center of influence are people who know, see, and maybe visit your care recipient; neighbors, good friends, pastor at the church, pharmacist, doctor, and insurance agent (health, car, home, etc.). Just in case of an accident or delays in travel or change of plans on your end - you can make sure someone will oversee your loved one's safety and can check in on him/her.

2. On that list, add the care recipient's health insurance information and the plan description. You might consider adding your health insurance information onto this list too.

3. Prepare yourself as long distance caregivers do - to find useful tips Google "long distance caregiver". Check this link out: http://www.nia.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Publications/LongDistanceCaregiving/

4. Contact the neighbors and friends and give them your itinerary, how they can contact you in a need arises. Let them know what's going on; your travels and if they would please stay connected with your loved one. You may also want to contact a Geriatric Case Manager to help oversee your care recipient by making regular home visits.

5. If you can afford hiring an in home care agency so that someone, a caretaker, can check in on your loved one regularly. Lynn knows that in home care agencies have a minimum hour requirement, but this is a valuable assest for your family. They are trained in handling and being a primary caretaker while the family is away.

6. And like Ginger, our traveling primary caregiver, suggests: Back up your back up! The more back up you have in place, the more you can enjoy your vacation or business trip!

A big thank you goes to Lynn Shank! She can be reached at lynn@txassurancecare.com or (512) 343-5400.

Enjoy your travels!

If you need help with local Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio senior care, contact me, Carol@WorkingCaregiver.com. And visit our website http://www.workingcaregiver.com/.

My best, Carol

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