Are you ready for the journey of having aging parents? As someone working in the senior care industry, I was ready, at least as much as anyone could be. When you are young, you get accustomed to seeing your parents making all the decisions, and you don’t think about the day when they may need you to help them. It truly is the case tha
Summers are often the ideal time for family to travel with elderly parents on vacations, to reunions, or on group outings with family and friends. When taking care of elderly parents, planning ahead will help ensure they stay safe and comfortable when traveling.
- About a month before traveling, be sure the senior consults with his/her doctor to discuss any special health needs, refill prescriptions to last through the trip, and update any necessary vaccinations.
- Know your elderly loved one’s physical limitations. Make sure the senior gets plenty of rest before and during travel. In the excitement of the journey, it’s easy to pack in too many activities each day. Take frequent breaks.
- Plan ahead to accommodate your elderly loved one’s limitations. Plan activities that respect your elderly loved one’s limitations. Be realistic about the length of time spent standing and walking.
- Make use of travel resources. Plan ahead for accommodations and any dietary, mobility, or medical needs. Even if your older loved one does not usually use mobility aids, walking longer distances in airports or train or bus terminals can quickly exhaust seniors.
- Pack for the worst-case scenario. Keep all of the senior’s prescription medications with you at all times.
- Verify phone numbers with relatives and friends, and update emergency contact information in your cell phone, in case you need to reach relatives.
- Let travel apps guide you. The plethora of travel apps for smartphones can point out directions, keep track of trip expenses, and provide weather information and much more.
- Dress for comfort. In warmer weather, be sure the senior wears lightweight clothing in light colors to reduce overheating. Loose, comfortable clothing is best for traveling seniors to help with optimal circulation.
- Avoid direct sun and too much heat. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Be sure your older loved one stays hydrated and wears sunscreen and a hat.
Paul Blom, CEO
July 23, 2015
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