Page 7 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - July 2018 - 25-07
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Senior Times - July 2018 Page 7
Adding to the current stress won’t improve quality of life for either of you, may make their symptoms temporarily worse, and would proba- bly prevent both of you from enjoying the trip.
3. How do they do in crowded, loud, or con- fusing situations? When you’re out with your older adult, how comfortable are they in public? If their behavior can become uncontrolled or extreme in places like restaurants, grocery stores, or shopping malls, travel is most likely not a good idea.
Think about their typical reaction to crowded, loud, or busy places. Does being in public set- tings make them upset, angry, overly tired, anx- ious, or scared? Or do they get upset when plans change suddenly?
4. Is this trip worth it? Because you can’t predict what will happen, it’s usually a risk to travel with someone who has dementia. Think about how important it is for them to take the trip and whether it’s worth that risk.
For example, a significant family event that will be meaningful and memorable carries more weight than a trip just for fun.
5. Where are you going and how will you get there? Another consideration is your travel destination. Familiar places, especially those your older adult visited often before they developed dementia, will be easier to adapt to. It will also be helpful to travel to a place where you can keep changes to their regular daily routine to a minimum.
Also think about how you would get to that location. Driving gives you more flexibility and control. Air travel is hectic and unpredictable,
so it’s typically more difficult. And short, direct flights are always better than long flights or mul- tiple transfers.
6. Is your loved one prone to wandering?
Realize that 6 in 10 individuals are at risk for wandering. To increase your peace of mind consider the Miles for Memories Personal I.D. bracelet. Both the person with dementia and caregiver should wear one. This will also register the wearer in the Help Home database with the Calhoun County Dispatch Authority allowing all police vehicles in the county access to your safe
return data and help return the loved one home.
7. What support system do you have while traveling and at the destination? Another factor that could influence your decision is how much help you’ll have while traveling and at your des- tination. If you’re taking care of your older adult by yourself throughout the entire trip, that’s very different than having other trusted, experienced caregivers along to help.
8. Are you able to change your expecta- tions? When you were younger, cramming in as much activity as possible was the goal. When traveling with the person with dementia you may need to decrease the amount of activity or create ways to rest more often. You may need to limit intentional destinations and find ways to make each experience as impactful as possible. Pay close attention to how they are doing and be will- ing to change your plans when necessary.
9. Are you physically capable of caring for your loved one at this time? Consider your own health needs. Are you mending through an injury or experiencing chronic conditions of your own that require monitoring? If so, it may be a good
idea to schedule your trip at a different time or find support from an additional travel companion.
10. Consider a staycation to test their reac- tion to travel. If you’re on the fence about taking your older adult on a trip, it may help to take a short vacation right in your hometown – a “stay- cation.”
For example, you could book a few nights at a local hotel, drive around for a few hours before going there, eat all your meals out, and sleep there.
Act like it’s a real vacation, far from home. This test lets you see firsthand how your older adult handles the change in environment and rou- tine. If their symptoms get significantly worse, you can easily end the test trip and go home.
What to do if travel isn’t possible for your senior with dementia – Sometimes travel will be too overwhelming or exhausting for seniors with dementia. If that’s the case for your older adult, it’s best not to push them beyond their limits.
If your older adult can’t travel, technology can help them enjoy a significant event or visit with relatives. For example, if there’s a family wedding, arrange video chats so they can view the ceremony and, if possible, talk with relatives. That way they still get to participate in the cele- bration.
Technology can also let them enjoy a trip that they have enjoyed before. A positive and impact- ful experience from when they were younger can be digitized so they can enjoy it again. They may prefer to enjoy the trip from photos instead. If they don’t remember all the details exactly as they were, it’s O.K. There is no need to correct them. Enjoy the trip they remember.
Another thing to remember is that this doesn’t mean you can’t travel. To allow you to go on a trip and take a much-needed break, con- sider asking family to take over, hiring in-home caregivers, or arranging a short respite stay in an community that meets their needs.
Publisher’s note: A person with dementia should not travel alone. There are too many decisions to make, complex directions to follow, and strangers to interact with. For their safety, a trusted caregiver should accompany them
CareWell Services Southwest - Region 3B Area Agency on Aging Announces
Senior Project fresh
Michigan grown produce, herbs or honey. In order to qualify for the coupon books, recipients must attend the short nutrition information session at the beginning of their distribution event. We will be partnering with Sprout Battle Creek to provide Sprout Boxes for those with transportation issues. Details will be provided at coupon distribution sites.
COUPONS ARE LIMITED and will be distributed
while supplies last. Contact CareWell Services SW at 269-966-2450 for more information. Distribution dates and locations are below. There is no need to call in advance to preregister. Calhoun County seniors living in the community should attend a distribution at the senior housing location nearest their home.
Region 3B Area Agency on Aging, d/b/a CareWell Services Southwest, will be distributing Senior Project FRESH coupons again this year. Senior Project FRESH assists low-income older adults in purchasing fresh, Michigan grown, fruits and vegetables by distributing $20 in coupons that can be redeemed at local farmers’ markets.
Senior Project FRESH is a program initiated through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services with administration provided by CareWell Services SW and additional support provided by the Battle Creek Community Foundation. The program benefits Calhoun County’s older adults age 60 and over whose gross
income is below 185% of the poverty level. For a one person household that would be a monthly gross income below $1,860 and monthly income below $2,504 for a two person household. Contact CareWell Services SW for larger household size income limits (income requirements subject to change July 1, 2018).
In order to qualify, seniors complete a simple registration application. On the day of the distribution they attend a short informational session about the benefits of healthy eating and receive instructions on how to use their coupons. At the informational class, each person will be issued one coupon book, worth $20 to
be used at local farmers’ markets to purchase
July 24 – Community Action Commodities Distribution at 9am – Battle Creek • July 26 – Jolly Green Junction at 2pm – Albion CALL 269-966-2450 FOR MORE INFORMATION

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