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Top Tips for Traveling with Seniors

By Schuylkill Home Care, Apr 10 2019 04:48PM

For seniors, travel can be especially challenging or risky. Use these top tips to make senior travel fun and safe.

As adults age, their family members tend to act as long-distance caregivers. The average distance a long-distance caregiver lives from a senior is 450 miles. That means if seniors travel to see their loved ones, they often go a long way. (Cargiver.org)

It’s common for seniors to have some trouble getting around like they used to do. So, it’s not surprising that long-distance travel can be a real challenge. Here’s how to make travel safer and more comfortable for aging adults.

Options for Travel for Seniors

Although seniors can travel by plane, train, or car, each option has pros and cons.

•Traveling by Plane

o Pros

 A fast form of travel

 Can earn loyalty program points

 Often accommodates disabilities

o Cons

 Airports can be overwhelming

 Might be expensive

 Some are afraid of flying

• Traveling by train

o Pros

 Access to many locations

 Passes y moderately fast

 May allow for socializing

o Cons

 Routes can be inconvenient or confusing

 Limited options for stops and pricing

 Limited accessibility for those with disabilities

• Traveling by car

o Pros

 Control over routes/stops

 Can add cushions/supports for comforts

 Often most affordable

o Cons

 Can take a long time

 A possibility of getting lost

 Driving alone may not be safe

(AARP)

How Seniors can Travel with Ease

For safe, comfortable, and fun travel expenses, seniors can use the following tips:

• Prepare Ahead of Time

o Practice using a map app, write down directions

o Contact airports or train stations to learn about available assistance options

o Pack vital items in a carry-on or easily accessible bag in case of emergency or change of plans

o Research parking options (get a disability tag if necessary)

o Consult a doctor about plans if travel is a concern for medical reasons

o Know where medical facilities are located at travel destination

• Ask Questions

o Don’t be afraid to ask other people for help while traveling. Try to ask people who work wherever you are (in a hotel, airport, etc.) for safety reason. Never offer strangers more details than necessary when asking for help.

• Bring Someone/Share with Loved Ones

o Find a friend or relative to travel with

o Inquire about traveling caregivers if assistance will be needed

o Share your location on your phone, as well as copies of your itinerary with loved ones.

(Better Health Channel)

A Senior’s “Bonus” Packing List

Although some of these items may be on most adults’ packing lists, they tend to be extra important for seniors to ensure their safety and comfort. (USA Today)

• Medications/supplements

• Support pillow or cushions

• Ambulatory/ medical devices

• Hearing aid batteries

• Doctor list/medical alert information

• Compression sockls

• Dentures holder/cleaner

Why Most Seniors Travel (Senior Living)

• See family/friends

• Multigenerational vacations

• Medical specialist appointments

• Complete “bucket list” goals

• Hosted or group tourist outings

Home Care Tip

Seniors may have difficulty estimating their need for downtime or rest while traveling. Encourage them to make plans that can be flexible so they can enjoy their time away.

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