Read Our 5 Best Caregiving Travel Tips for Senior Citizens
Summer is here, which for many families means vacation travel. If you’re traveling with an elderly relative, the process requires some forethought and pre-planning. Here are our best five caregiving travel tips for senior citizens.
Plan Ahead so Traveling with a Senior Is a Good Experience for Everyone
- Allow extra time, whether traveling by plane or car. If you will be traveling with a senior relative, plan to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare. This will allow you to get through security without stress. For car travel, be sure to plan in relaxing stops. Put your route into a site like Google Maps or MapQuest. Search for restaurants, rest stops, and other nice places to stop along the way.
- Pack light. This is good advice for any traveler, but it’s especially important if you are traveling with someone with mobility issues. Do your best to get everything into a rolling suitcase that can fit in the overhead bin for air travel. Other necessities should fit into a medium shoulder bag. Less is more for car travel, too.
- Have all documents collected into a file folder, and include photocopies. This includes passports, boarding passess, doctors’ notes about medical conditions to show at security, and even prescriptions. Some experts suggest making a complete set of copies for each travel bag. Your relative can keep their originals in a pants pocket or money belt. If you’re traveling with your relative, you should have a set of copies, too.
- Prearrange a wheelchair at the airport, and familiarize yourself with the security protocols and accommodations. Often a TSA agent will simply pass a wand over a senior citizen while he or she is seated in the wheelchair. Remember that even seniors must remove their shoes, so choose footwear that slips on and off easily. Make sure to put medications in their original bottles in a quart-sized bag. Divvying them up into “next dose” bags or boxes will not pass security.
- Try to maintain a predictable schedule once you arrive at your destination. Everyone will have a more enjoyable trip if there is enough time to rest. Seniors with cognitive impairments or dementia will feel more comfortable if they maintain their usual routine as much as possible.
We hope you find these caregiving travel tips for seniors useful in your summer adventures. Remember that Lisa C. Bryant and the rest of the office are ready to help with estate planning questions, too.