Talk to the Doctor
Before departure, ensure the Doctor is aware of the trip. Have the doctor do a checkup to be sure the senior is up to the physical demands of the vacation.
Get all prescriptions refilled and packed in your carry on in case of delay or lost luggage.
It is important to remember a change in time, altitude and routine will impact your loved one.
For example, a diabetic will need to pay close attention to sugar levels when eating different foods and functioning on an unusual schedule.
Plan for Accommodations
Know the details about where you will be staying. Make sure it’s wheelchair accessible if needed. Ensure where you will be staying are aware of any special requests before you arrive, especially if out of country.
The senior may need more breaks from sightseeing and may want to spend more time in their accommodation. You may want to consider extra amenities to ensure their comfort during these periods. For instance, an on-site restaurant or room service can offer convenient meals when the senior is tired from a day of activity.
It’s common to want to fit in as much as possible on trips. However, this is often impractical for older people who can’t hold up to the rigorous activity. Consider how much walking and standing they can realistically handle. Are wheelchairs available for rent if needed?
If you’re driving to your vacation destination, plan for regular stops to stretch.
Break the road trip into two or three days instead of one full day. Once you arrive at your destination, include one or two activities each day and allow for rest periods in between.
A few other important things to consider:
Insurance coverage is a must! Speak with your coverage provider and make sure your loved one will be covered in the event of a medical emergency.
- Pack items such as snacks or sunscreen. Know the weather and pack clothing that will be appropriate for any changes. Layers are always a good idea!
- Find out about nearby medical facilities and what OTC medications are available, especially if you’re in a foreign country.
- Let your loved one know if you plan to go out on your own while they nap. Choose a safe, quiet location when booking your accommodation to ensure your loved one gets their rest and feels secure when you’re away.
- Be prepared for disorientation, especially if the person suffers from dementia. Confusion will increase upon waking in a strange room.
- Keep the your senior loved one calm and prevent worry by not showing your own frustrations.
- Traveling with seniors can be a fun and enjoyable experience. They get to enjoy different sights and live out the dream of seeing new places. If you plan ahead and understand the special needs of seniors, it can be a rewarding time for everyone!