Planning a summer vacation can be great way to see new sights, get away, spend time with family, and relax. While many adults can be ready to go on a whim, when traveling with seniors, extra planning is a big help. You will want to ensure that everyone is included and has an enjoyable time.
1. Plan Ahead
This seems like common sense, but there are many items that are easy to overlook or take for granted. For example, if your loved one has issues with incontinence, you’ll want to plan for extra restroom breaks. Search your itinerary and locate close bathrooms. If a historic site is in the schedule, the bathrooms may not be easily accessible. Make sure there is a stop before you get to your destination.
When going to the airport, call ahead about senior assistance. You may be able to get a wheelchair to board the plane early, helping your senior get settled in before other passengers board. Your loved one may also be able to go through a special security screening.
Consider any mobility issues your senior may have when making reservations and booking activities. Are there stairs involved? Will a ramp or elevator be available? Also consider their vision and hearing. Large crowds, too much noise, a lot of stimulation, excessive heat and humidity can be tough to handle and make activities less enjoyable. Try to plan activities that everyone can enjoy and access.
2. Pack Extra Medications
Have enough medication for the trip, plus a few days more. You never know when you’ll get delayed. Bring proper documentation (typically a doctor’s note or prescription) for medication and any health conditions your loved one may have. Make advanced arrangements for refrigerated medications. If there is a need to go to an urgent care or hospital, you will want to have the necessary insurance information and a list of current medications readily available. If you’re flying, don’t pack medications in checked luggage – always keep it in your carry on in case of delay or lost luggage.
3. Create a Schedule with Down Time
You may want to pack in as many sights and activities as you can, but realistically you may not be able to do so. When traveling with seniors, you will have to slow down your pace and build in more time for breaks and rest. While your loved one enjoys being included, don’t overwhelm them with too much walking or activities they cannot keep up with. Include your senior in vacation planning and ask about what they think they can reasonably handle.
4. Consider Your Options
Look into trips which appeal to people of all ages and offer accommodations for seniors. Cruises and tours are ideal because they are pre-planned and offer many options. You can work out any accessibility needs or special considerations ahead of time and find out if the trip is right for your senior. Ask for testimonials from tour companies so you can request recommendations in an online format via TripAdvisor.com or another trip/travel related website. You may also be able to pick and choose from different activities creating a schedule that works for everyone.
Vacationing with your senior can be a lot of fun and create many memorable moments. Take the time to plan ahead to reduce stress, enhance safety, and make the most of your family trip. Even if you are planning to staying close to home or taking day trips, being prepared is key. Make sure your loved one has the support they need to stay active and engaged on your trip. Ensure that they have the level of support and care they need at home as well by contacting Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059 for a free in-home care consultation.