Traveling may be a little more difficult for some elderly loved ones, but that does not mean they no longer like to do it. As a matter of fact, many seniors, even those with health issues, enjoy seeing the world, taking vacations with their children and grandchildren, and traveling to visit friends and family. If you are the part-time or live-in caregiver for a loved one, you may find that you have no choice but to go on vacation with your elderly loved. Whatever the reason, there are some things you can do to ensure that everyone has a safe and fun trip.
1. Talk to your loved one’s doctor.
Even if your loved one is in good health, consider a quick check-up to make sure travel is okay, especially when traveling a long distance or out of the country. Make sure prescriptions are filled so that he or she has enough for the duration of the trip. Consider writing out a schedule or setting up alerts on his or her phone so your loved one does not lose track of time, especially when traveling to a different time zone. Centennial home care professionals also recommend packing any medications or medical gear in a carry-on bag in the event luggage is lost or delayed.
2. Pack comfortable clothing.
Be sure your loved one has plenty of comfortable clothing for the trip. Include a pair of shoes suitable for walking, especially if he or she plans to take tours or see the sights. Also, consider the climate. You may be perfectly comfortable at your warm destination, but your loved one may benefit from a light jacket. If traveling to the beach or a sunny destination, pack sunglasses, hats, and other items that protect your senior from the sun.
3. Make sure all identification is up to date and packed properly.
Your loved one’s identification should be up-to-date and in a secure yet handy location. This includes a passport, a driver’s license, insurance information, doctor’s statements, and emergency contact info. Make photocopies for the carry-on bag and checked luggage, and if you are traveling along with your loved one, keep a copy for yourself. Also, if your loved one has Alzheimer’s, dementia, diabetes or any other problem that may affect his or her mental or physical wellbeing, consider an ID or medical bracelet.
4. Call ahead to find out about special services.
If your loved one requires special assistance, such as a wheelchair, call ahead to the airport or your destinations to see if one can be provided. Even if your senior loved one does not usually use a wheelchair, he or she may choose to when you go sightseeing or need to walk for long distances. Find out what types of medical facilities are near your destination, as well.
5. Plan for more rest time.
Should you be traveling with your loved one, remember to take more time to rest. When driving long distances, don’t forget to stop for bathroom breaks often. Also, remember to stop for meals and snacks as needed, especially if your loved one has diabetes or other problems with blood sugar. Once you arrive at your destination, give your loved one the opportunity to opt out of strenuous or long activities.
6. Reconsider destination options if possible.
As a matter of fact, if you are planning a vacation with your loved one, consider an option that is suitable for both of you. For example, many older people enjoy cruises because they are suitable for all ages, are generally accessible for anyone with limited mobility, and you have unlimited activities and beautiful views right there at your fingertips. If a cruise is not an option, consider destinations that are quiet or more private and that are not geared towards a younger crowd. Choose activities that everyone can do so that no one in your party feels left out.
If you could use additional support meeting your loved one’s care needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to Home Care Assistance. We provide live-in, hourly, and respite care in Centennial, ensuring seniors have the help needed to remain happy and healthy at home and family caregivers have the ability to take time away from their responsibilities without compromising their loved one’s care. Call a friendly Care Manager at (303) 957-3100 and schedule a free in-home consultation today.