On this page you can read about peoples' experiences with travelling, their holidays, and finding respite care so they could take a break. Several caregivers were able to travel with their care recipient whereas others had stopped travelling together because travelling was too difficult.
While many caregivers were unable to arrange holidays for themselves, there were several who did manage. Others found respite care and took a much-needed break. To do this, the caregivers had to make (sometimes complicated) arrangements for the care recipient to stay home or go to a respite facility while they were away.
Even though it was hard to travel with a disability, Shayna and her husband traveled with the family to maintain some normalcy.
Challenges with travelling together
For many other caregivers, travelling eventually became too difficult. As Elaine said, at a certain point it becomes easier to stay at home. Lorna and her husband stopped travelling when they were unable to get insurance for her husband. For David's wife, it became too difficult to travel because she couldn't sit for long periods of time. Lillian and Michael's son dislikes travelling, about which Michael commented, "I think learning to unlearn those things (family holidays) is a difficult thing. If you're a family and you're going on a family holiday and you're not taking part of your family, what kind of family is that? Not taking him on a holiday is actually a demonstration of our love for him, not some sort of rejection, even though that sounds on the surface of it's crazy and counter intuitive."
Travelling alone or respite
Several caregivers were travelling alone for holidays or business trips. Some care recipients could stay home alone and only needed someone to check up on them, whereas others needed 24/7 care.
Sometimes, it is not easy to leave the care recipient behind. Christiane had a respite weekend and her husband stayed in a facility. She said, "I had a break from September 30 to October 2nd, but they sent him to a long term care facility. But there, the TV is not working. He doesn't see outside. I said: "Well, what will he do?" This is all he does during the day! There, you will not hear him, he will fall asleep. He just woke up, but he will fall asleep on the couch while watching TV. I picked him up on Sunday morning right after lunch."
Other caregivers leave for a short time and don't go far. Several caregivers described traveling with their cell phone ready, prepared to return home at a moment's notice. On the other hand, Fernanda enjoyed hiking above the tree line knowing she could not be reached. Still, she would check-in with her mother every night.