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
A fast form of travel
Can earn loyalty program points
Often accommodates disabilities
Airports can be overwhelming
Might be expensive
Some are afraid of flying
• Traveling by train
Access to many locations
Passes y moderately fast
May allow for socializing
Routes can be inconvenient or confusing
Limited options for stops and pricing
Limited accessibility for those with disabilities
• Traveling by car
Control over routes/stops
Can add cushions/supports for comforts
Often most affordable
Can take a long time
A possibility of getting lost
Driving alone may not be safe
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.
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)
• 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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