Life slows down as you age, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still travel. Travel provides a change of scenery, a sense of adventure, and an escape from the same old same old. Don’t count your senior loved ones out when it comes to travel, even if they’re in an assisted living facility. It may be just what they need to combat the loneliness.
Traveling With Seniors: A Guide
While age doesn’t necessarily keep you from traveling, it does make certain considerations necessary. Instead of leaving your senior loved ones out of your travel plans, be willing to make some modifications so they can enjoy the time with you. Start with the following 5 tips for traveling with seniors:
Clear with their physician
It’s important to talk to their doctor before making your travel plans. You want to make sure your destination and planned activities are appropriate for their limitations and capabilities. Find out if they’ll need any certain vaccinations. Make sure you know the medications they’ll need and that they have been filled prior to leaving. Ask about medications to help with anxiety while on the trip.
Be realistic with scheduling
Consider the amount of walking and other activity your schedule will require. Plan according to their abilities and limitations regarding mobility and endurance. A good general rule of thumb is to keep it simple. Build in plenty of time for rest and don’t overdo it. They’ll enjoy the days much more if they don’t get overtired or overstressed.
Make arrangements ahead
Research every destination and activity to make sure the senior’s needs will be accommodated. If you’re flying, request seats in the section for travelers with disabilities. When driving, make sure the vehicle will accommodate their mobility needs. If they need assistive medical equipment, make sure it will be available. If your travel plans include a hotel stay, request a room on the 1st floor. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks on hand and encourage them to drink water often.
Dress for comfort
Have them dress in light clothes. If it will be cold, dress them in layers. Supportive socks can be purchased to prevent blood clots and numbness during extended periods of sitting. During the summer, a hat and sunscreen are essential.
Book a tour or a cruise
Tours and cruises are great options for seniors with various levels of mobility. They are both all-in-one packages with entertainment, food, and social time all included. For someone who doesn’t get around as much as they once did, both tours and cruises offer a way to “see the world”. They’re simple and offer plenty opportunities for rest.
Give the Gift of Travel
Just because your senior loved one is getting older, don’t count them out of your travel plans. It will do them a world of good to be included and to get out and have new experiences. Use this guide to traveling with seniors to get started and give your senior loved one the gift of travel.
Unlimited Care Cottages has several assisted living and memory care cottages in the Kingwood, Spring, Oak Ridge North, and The Woodlands areas. For more information on personal care for your senior loved ones, or for a tour of one of our cottages, Contact Us.