Vacation as a Psychotherapeutic Tool

Posted by Dr. El - February 10, 2010 - Personal Reflections - 7 Comments

I find it challenging to tell my residents I’m going on vacation, though I’m better at it than I used to be. I like to go to fabulous places, and they’re stuck in the nursing home. I know I need to “recharge my batteries,” as I tell them, and I’ve learned a few things along the way.
My travels can be a tool for reminiscence, discussing places they’ve been.
We can address choices they’ve made, work through regrets, and celebrate successes.
We can find ways they can make smaller trips, such as attending activities, going out on home passes, or joining peers on recreation department outings.
I’ve learned there are no guarantees in life, and if I want to travel, I need to do it while I can.
When it’s my turn, I’d rather be sitting in my nursing home room missing the things I used to do, than regretting the things I never did.