Traveling with your family and friends can be a truly fantastic experience. However, it also calls for some caution and planning ahead if there’s a senior in your group. Here, we are going to take a look at some steps you can take to make sure your trips with a senior goes off without a hitch.
Choose a Travel Plan Everyone Can Do
When planning your itinerary, keep in mind what everyone can do. This will make sure that no one is in danger of expending themselves too far. For instance, a day out hiking or even running all over a new city can be challenging to a senior.
Alongside safety, it’s going to be a more fun trip if there are activities that your senior can participate in. This is why cruises and resorts are a popular choice for families – they have activities specifically planned for all age groups.
Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page
When planning for a trip, it isn’t always up to one person to do everything. Sometimes a group might split up work between planning travel, booking hotels, and finding things to do. You’ll want to make sure to tell everyone any restrictions they need to be aware and double-check all plans before leaving.
Try to Get Direct Flights When Possible
Of course, getting a direct flight isn’t guaranteed for every travel destination. However, it’s a good way to cut down on complications during travel that could lead to problems. When using multiple flights to get to your destination, it’s easy to miss a flight or get caught in a layover.
The good news is that flying with a senior citizen can be a little easier on the topic of security. For instance, you don’t have to worry about helping them take shoes on an off when going through TSA security.
Plan for Disabilities When Traveling
There are certain disabilities that need to be addressed during travel. If your senior uses a wheelchair, for example, that needs to be considered. There are plenty of tips for traveling with disabilities chief among them is planning ahead of time. Services such as airplane boarding assistance can help things along when the right plans are made.
Remember these accommodations should include where you’re staying as well. The more challenges you can solve or lessen before you leave, the better!
Using Technology to Help You Out
When traveling with a senior, it can also be handy to utilize technology to help out. The most obvious is having tech like cellphones so that everyone can keep in touch.
Another useful piece of tech is a medical alert device. These are wearable pieces that typically work at the press of a button. If a senior needs help, they can press the button to alert help. Some also send out an alert if they detect a health problem such as a fall. This usually includes not only you but, usually, emergency services as well. Systems with built-in GPS features like Life Alert Alternatives are particularly helpful while traveling.
Don’t Schedule Things Too Early or Too Late
As you age, you don’t have the same energy you once did. That means that early flights or late nights out are going to be more difficult for seniors. Edit your itinerary to give your senior time to get the rest they need to stay healthy during your trip.
Stay Up-to-Date on Vaccinations
Staying up-to-date on vaccinations is particularly true for seniors that are traveling abroad. Among the most important is the tetanus vaccination. The rates of tetanus in seniors is much higher and it can lead to serious health issues if the right precautions aren’t taken. It’s a good idea to make sure seniors have an appointment with their doctor before any big trips.
While at the doctor’s office, it’s also a good idea to make sure the doctor clears them for travel at all. This is a good way to get medical advice for caregiving and an idea for what the trip can and can’t include.
Before going anywhere, make sure to check and double check that you have all the medication needed in your luggage. Disrupting a senior’s medication schedule even a little can lead to complications. In addition to packing the right medication, it’s also important to make sure that anything that needs a refill has one. This will prevent mid-trip emergencies.
Finally, make sure to communicate with your loved one throughout the trip. Tell them details such as what you’re going to do or where the group is going. Too many details can be overwhelming – especially for seniors with complications such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. So, unnecessary details such as complex directions may end up being more confusing than helpful.
Caregiving for a senior while traveling can seem intimidating at first. By using tips like these to help plan ahead and use during the trip, you know how to make sure everyone enjoys their vacation.
Anna Short is a professional seamstress based in NYC. Annabelle is a primary caregiver for her mother with dementia. When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. Annabelle is a mother of two and she likes to make crafty projects in her free time.