Traveling with an Elderly Loved One
While traveling with elderly family members can bring its share of challenges, there’s nothing to stop seniors from enjoying all that the world has to offer. If you’re bringing a parent or grandparent on your next family vacation, there are some important considerations to keep in mind before and during the trip.
When it comes to exploring new territories, it’s normal to get excited. However, when you’re traveling with someone in their golden years, it’s essential that you don’t let your excitement cloud your judgment. Seniors have unique needs and preferences, and if you’re traveling with elderly people, it’s important that you keep those factors in mind.
As you’re getting ready to embark on your next big adventure, be sure to include your loved one in the planning process. After all, this is probably a very exciting time for them, and they may not have many similar opportunities in the future. Consider medication dispensers, emergency alert buttons, and other similar technologies that will help you in making this a safe and fun trip for both of you.
Embrace the journey. Senior citizens often have wonderful stories to tell, life lessons to pass on, and jokes to crack. Traveling with elderly people can be a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Treat them like one of the group, and they’re sure to respond positively. Follow the guide below to make your next trip one to remember for a lifetime.
1. Pack Light
Not only does packing light make it easier to get around, but streamlining your distractions helps you to focus on caring for your loved one.
2. Bring an Essentials Bag
Bring a small bag filled with any medications, medical devices, snacks, phone numbers, sunscreen, activities, and other important items. Make sure it’s kept in a secure, easily-accessible location. To be extra safe, you may want to bring a spare.
3. Arrange Special Services in Advance
When traveling with elderly people, it’s always wise to arrange accommodations for special needs in advance. Details like having a wheelchair available at the airport or a reserved seat near the restroom go a long way in making your loved one’s trip more enjoyable.
4. Provide a Mobile Phone
If you accidentally get separated, it’s critical that your family member is able to get in touch. Besides making sure they have emergency contact numbers always on hand, you may want to give them a prepaid mobile phone (if they don’t own their own).
5. Look Into Local Medical Facilities
You can never be too careful when it comes to traveling with elderly loved ones. If an emergency situation should occur, you want to be sure that you know where to go. You may want to consider seeking lodging nearby if your family member has a serious medical condition.
6. Keep It Relaxed
Trying to cram too many activities into one day can be overwhelming for seniors. While there’s nothing wrong with leaving the hotel for the occasional adventure, don’t forget to plan time for leisure activities too.
7. Speak with a Doctor Beforehand
Before you start planning a trip involving traveling with elderly family members, speak with your loved one’s primary care physician to make sure they’re safe to travel. If they’re cleared for takeoff, a doctor can also provide valuable insight and advice specific to your family member.