Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is a labor of love that knows no bounds. However, even the most devoted caregivers need a break to recharge their own batteries. For many family caregivers, the idea of taking a vacation remains a longed-for dream that sits on the mental back burner as dementia caregiving tasks take front and center.

How will your senior loved one feel and act when you’re away? Is it possible to find a responsible and compassionate caretaker to take your place? Will you even be able to enjoy your vacation wondering how your dementia parent or Alzheimer’s spouse is coping?

The challenges and concerns you might face when thinking about taking a well-deserved vacation are relatable to all family caregivers of a senior diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Here are seven actionable tips to help family caregivers plan a relaxing and worry-free break, while ensuring their senior loved ones receive the best care in their absence.

  1. Start Planning Early

Advance planning can make all the difference. Begin by considering the best time for your vacation, keeping in mind your loved one’s routine and any seasonal concerns. Early planning also allows you to communicate with care facilities or in-home care services to ensure they have availability and can meet your loved one’s needs.

An experienced and compassionate Amada Senior Care advisor would be happy to answer questions about in-home care provided by a dementia-trained caregiver or a short-term stay at a memory care facility. Amada Senior Care advisors also can assist with identifying funding solutions for home care through a Long-Term Care insurance policy, VA benefits for senior veterans or other forms of financial assistance. CLICK HERE to find an Amada office near you.

  1. Create Detailed Care Instructions

No one knows your loved one’s routine, likes, dislikes, and medical needs better than you do. Write down detailed care instructions, including medication schedules, dietary restrictions, favorite activities, and emergency contact information. This will help caregivers provide the same level of personalized care in your absence.

  1. Involve Your Loved One in the Process

Depending on their stage of Alzheimer’s or dementia, involve your loved one in the vacation planning process as much as possible. This can help alleviate any anxiety or confusion they may feel about your absence. Explain where you’re going, why, and who will be taking care of them. Reassure them of your return.

  1. Choose the Right Care Option

For short trips, in-home care might be sufficient. However, for longer vacations, a temporary stay in a specialized memory care facility could be more appropriate. Evaluate your options based on your loved one’s needs, their comfort with new environments, and the duration of your vacation. is an online resource that explains the different types of Alzheimer’s and dementia help available and suggests community organizations.

  1. Ensure a Smooth Transition

If you opt for a care facility, try to visit it with your loved one before your trip. Familiarizing them with the new environment and the caregivers can help minimize anxiety. Similarly, for in-home care, arrange for the caregiver to spend time with you and your loved one, ensuring a comfortable and familiar transition.

  1. Stay Connected

Technology can be a great tool to stay in touch while you’re away. Schedule regular check-ins via phone calls or video chats. This not only reassures your loved one but also allows you to keep an eye on their well-being, giving you peace of mind to enjoy your vacation.

  1. Prioritize Self-Care

Remember, taking a break is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia is demanding, and caregiver burnout is real. Take care of yourself as a caregiver by using vacation time to rest, relax and rejuvenate. You’ll return feeling refreshed, which ultimately benefits both you and your loved one.

A Well-Deserved Break for Family Caregivers of an Alzheimer’s Senior

Taking a vacation when you’re the caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia requires careful planning and consideration, but it’s entirely possible with the right preparation. By following these tips, you can ensure your loved one’s safety and comfort in your absence and enjoy a well-deserved break. Remember, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your loved one.

Remember that at Amada Senior Care, we’re here to support family caregivers and their senior loved ones every step of the way, providing compassionate in-home care and peace of mind so you can take the break you deserve.