Sometimes our loved ones may not be able to travel easily without a wheelchair or extra assistance, or perhaps they have Alzheimer's disease, heart problems or other conditions. These challenges can make vacations and travel bit more complicated, but that doesn't mean you should forego those special plans or cancel them altogether. We've put together some tips on how to travel safely with your seniors or elderly loved ones.
1. Get Doctor Approval First
The first and most important step before making travel plans or booking airfare is to scheduled a check-up with your loved one's primary care doctor. In addition to getting the 'all-clear' approval from the doctor, your loved one may need some routine vaccines, such as measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and even the seasonal flu vaccine. Many mistakenly believe these are childhood vaccines, but truthfully seniors over the age of 65 should consider getting boosters before travel. According to the Centers for Disease Control (the CDC), more than half of the tetanus cases occur in people over age 65, so another reason they should consider getting that booster before traveling. There also may be specific diseases common in other countries, should you be considering international travel.
2. Take Advantage of Airport Assistance Options
Senior citizens may request assistance at the airport, from the time they arrive to the time they board their plane. They simply need to ask for it upon arrival. There are carts to transport them to gates, as well as wheelchair assistance, and even options to skip the lines. They can enjoy priority boarding, and even help with checking or stowing their bags. In addition, TSA has made several changes to their security policies, which really makes the process easier for seniors:
Seniors with pacemakers or other medical devices can request a physical pat-down instead of walking through a scanner.
Those in wheelchairs can remain in the wheelchair during the screening process.
Those ages 75 and older can leave their shoes and jackets on now when going through the security process.
3. Always Travel with Necessary Medications
Talk to your senior's doctor about necessary medications. You certainly want to maintain their regular medication routine, but there may be additional medications recommended for travel such as traveler's diarrhea, malaria, or even altitude illness and sea sickness. Pack enough for the duration of the trip, but add a few days' of medication just in case. There may be travel delays or other issues that might cause problems. Make sure all medications are labeled in their original bottles with the doctor's information listed.
Traveling with your seniors does not have to be stressful or overwhelming. Be sure to call ahead to hotels and cruise ships to inquire about the assistance available. Most are happy to accommodate and have several options to make you and your loved one feel very much at home and cared for. There may even be some discounts available so don't pass up those opportunities to make beautiful memories with your family.
Going on vacation and need some extra care for your loved ones while you are gone? Do you need someone to step in for your family caregiver and provide the same loving care for a short period of time, or even longer? Our Kind Companions are here for you. Call us today for a complimentary consultation at 940-382-7548