by Dedra Jize, OT, CSA
Geriatric Care Manager, Law Offices of Roy W. Litherland
With summer approaching, you may be thinking of planning a summer vacation. There has been a shift to making these trips intergenerational; the grandchildren, parents and grandparents all go together. This can have advantages when there are young grandchildren who may need to ‘sit out’ on some of the experiences or need someone to watch them so their parents can have a night out, and can also be a great bonding experience that builds wonderful memories. Here are a few tips to make this the best trip possible for everyone.
- Keep personal space. Just because you are vacationing together, it doesn’t mean you should always be together. Book separate rooms, and I don’t mean adjoining rooms or across the hall. The space allows for both periods of privacy for everyone and time for group activities.
- Communicate. People have different ideas regarding what makes an ideal vacation. Some think it’s about sitting by the pool relaxing, then having a spa treatment, and concluding with a nice dinner. Others may prefer to fit in every activity possible from sun up to sun down and then crash at the hotel, only to do it all over again the next day. It’s important to talk about expectations: who will be responsible for the kids, will grandparents babysit for a couple evenings, who pays when eating out, etc.
- Keep flexible. The activities each day may not be ideal for the entire group. You may want to allow for different agendas for the day and then everyone can meet up for dinner, or plan on specific group activities on alternate days. Perhaps an activity that may be too strenuous for someone can be adapted so everyone can enjoy it.
- Be kind. Emotions can flare when people are tired, hungry or cramped into a small place for too long. Little irritations can be magnified when time spent together is increased. But understand that it is a precious gift to be able to travel with the multiple generations. These are memories that will last in your children’s memories forever. Maybe they will take you on their family vacations when they have kids.
Some vacations really lend themselves to intergenerational travel. These are ones that generally include opportunities for many group times together while also providing for individual space and activities. They will take into consideration the various physical levels as well as various interest levels. Vacations to consider are Cruises (River, Ocean or Sea), train trips, family resorts, or even dude ranches.
About Dedra Jize: Dedra Jize is a Certified Senior Advisor and Geriatric Care Manager. She works to help our senior clients and their families with Medicare issues, and Medi-Cal applications and representations. Dedra provides psycho-social assessments of health care needs, develops individualized plans for care, evaluates the specific needs of clients, and makes recommendations when applicable for home care services, independent living communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing facilities. Her goal in working with clients is to advocate on behalf of the senior, and to enhance the quality of life of both the older adult and his or her family. Dedra offers a free 15-minute consultation to determine how she may be able to help you and can be reached at (408) 356-9200 or (831) 476-2400.