Packed suitcase for a long excursion

Be prepared for an extended absence from your family

Several situations require individuals to be away from home for a long period of time. If a family member is in the military and is deployed for months without coming back home, plans need to be made for their absence. A family member may need to receive medical treatment or surgery and be away from home. You could be called away to take care of an aging parent who needs you indefinitely. In all cases, some planning needs to be done ahead of time.

If you are going to be gone for a couple weeks, the tasks are easier. Maybe keeping the house straight will be a struggle, but you do not have to hire someone to do the work. If you are going to be gone for a year, it is a different story.

The people you are leaving behind usually rely on you for chores and duties. Someone will need to do these things when you are away. You will either have to hire someone, find a friend or the rest of the family will have to divide the tasks among themselves for the duration. If family members are doing the jobs, it is a good idea to have a backup plan in case the jobs are not getting done.

When leaving for a couple weeks, you will need to set up a pantry checklist, chores for kids, stock both cooked and uncooked food in the freezer – you might want to leave a carry out menu within reach too. Cash or access to cash always comes in handy for kids and adults.

A fun idea might be to have a “guest chef” lined up to feed the rest of the family while you are gone. A friend or family member could come over and make their favorite dish. If you plan ahead, you can have all of the supplies at your home ready to go.

If you are leaving for a medical procedure, you may be gone for a while and then come home unable to do the normal cleaning, cooking and other household jobs for weeks or even months. Household chores, and even bathing in the beginning, can be difficult. A physical therapist, visiting nurse or other professionals may need to come on a regular basis. Hospitals have social workers that are there to help you figure what services you need and how often.

With a plan in place ahead of time, the process will go more smoothly. No matter what reason takes you away from your family, getting organized ahead of time will eliminate headaches in the long run.

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