There is a lot to be said for enjoying some time away with your loved ones. But travelling with elderly or older people might require a little more preparation. Factors such as limited mobility and specific health conditions need to be taken into account when working out logistics. The more you can plan ahead, the more enjoyable the trip will be for everyone involved. Here are a few things to take into consideration.
Allow for Extra Time
Rushing around is stressful at the best of times, but with elderly travel companions, allowing for that extra time is necessary. It might be that they are a little slower on their feet, or in need of assistance for things like bathroom trips. Wheelchairs and Zimmer frames also present further challenges when checking in at airports and using other means of transportation. Contact the relevant companies in advance to arrange for special assistance. Open up your itinerary to include plenty of time for simply getting about and allow for resting stops during any days out.
Make a Medical Checklist
If your elderly parent(s) is taking medication, you will need to make sure that they have enough of everything to last them the duration of the trip. This could mean arranging repeat prescriptions in advance, as well as stocking up on any supplies in case of an emergency. If your elderly relative is unable to administer his or her own medication, you will need to ensure someone on the trip knows how to do this, and how often. For more serious health conditions, you will need to get approval from his or her primary care physician, as well as acquiring the appropriate travel insurance.
Organise Relevant Documents
Tickets, passports, insurance certificates and any other documents should all be put together in one place. To make things even more failsafe, consider leaving copies of everything with a trusted friend or family member, along with details of where you will be staying etc. GPS bracelets can also be particularly useful for people with dementia or any other form of cognitive impairment.
Travelling with elderly companions can be a little stressful at times, just because of the responsibility involved. Remember to take as much care of yourself as you do of others. Not only will this give you some respite, it stops your loved ones feeling like they are a burden and will help to keep tensions from rising unnecessarily. Remember this is a holiday – so don’t feel obliged to jam pack the days with constant activities.