Family caregivers often want to take their senior loved ones on vacation, to reunions or on group outings with family and friends. Planning ahead will help ensure older adults stay safe and comfortable when traveling.
- About a month before traveling, be sure the senior consults with his/her doctor to discuss any special health needs, refill prescriptions to last through the trip and update any necessary vaccinations.
- Know your elderly loved one’s physical limitations. Make sure the senior gets plenty of rest before and during travel. In the excitement of the journey, it’s easy to pack in too many activities each day. Take frequent breaks.
- Make use of travel resources. Plan ahead for accommodations and any dietary, mobility or medical needs. Even if your older loved one does not usually use mobility aids, walking longer distances in airports or train or bus terminals can quickly exhaust seniors.
- Pack for the worst-case scenario. Keep all of the senior’s prescription medications with you at all times.
- Verify phone numbers with relatives and friends, and update emergency contact information in your cellphone, in case you need to reach relatives.
- Let travel apps guide you. The plethora of travel apps for smartphones can point out directions, keep track of trip expenses, and provide weather information and much more.
- Dress for comfort. Pack according to the weather your expecting, but be prepared adverse situations. Loose, comfortable clothing is best for traveling seniors to help with optimal circulation.
- Avoid direct sun, too much heat, and stay dry. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Be sure your older loved one stays hydrated and wears sunscreen and a hat.
If your senior may need more assistance than you will be able to provide, consider hiring a caregiver to travel with you. Right at Home can offer senior care travel services.