Traveling isn’t as easy as it used to be. Long lines at security, the need to remove shoes and belts and long walks through terminals can make it difficult for seniors to get away. Rapid changes in temperature and hours of waiting at different legs of the trip can take a toll on an aging person’s stamina. If you are traveling with an elderly loved one there are ways to plan ahead in order to make the most arduous parts of travel a bit easier. Here are five suggestions that may help.
Get to the airport early: You can’t rush when traveling with an elderly person. Physically they may not be able to walk or move quickly and it will cause unnecessary stress and anxiety to everyone involved. Plan lots of time for the length of the trip. Avoid booking transfer flights too close together. Arrive at the airport at least two hours before the flight is scheduled to leave. Check on the status of the flight before you leave the house. Prepare yourself for extra time to explain things to your elderly loved one at every point along the way and give them time to move at their own pace through the airport.
Arrange for transportation inside the airport: Every airport will offer some type of assistance for passengers with disabilities and those who need some extra assistance getting from one area of the terminal to another. Call ahead to make a reservation for one of these vehicles so there will be someone available to chauffeur you around the airport as needed.
Plan for security checkpoints: Most travelers agree this is one of the worst parts of travel today, albeit a necessary one. The most important thing is to explain to your parent what security is like today and what they can expect. Explain to them that they will have to remove their shoes and belt, and that they will have to walk through a scanner. If they have a pacemaker or metal implants of any type, they should be prepared to tell the security agent about them. Then they may be scanned manually with a wand. It will help to get your loved one through security if they wear slip on walking shoes that are easily removed.
Medication management: Pack all of your senior’s medications in your carry-on luggage. You cannot afford for them to be lost in a piece of checked luggage. Stock the medications in clear bags that comply with security regulations. If you are traveling to a foreign country, check that countries regulations because you may need to have a written prescription for each medication you carry. Without it, customs may seize the medication as you enter the country.
Drink Lots of Water: Traveling causes dehydration. Make sure your aging loved one drinks lots of water while traveling, even if that results in frequent bathroom breaks. Avoid salty foods and drinking caffeinated beverages that can increase dehydration. The more water your loved one can drink, the less exhausted they will be from travel and the better they will feel.
If you are traveling and worried about the well-being of a senior loved one, Home Care Assistance experienced caregivers are available to offer safety, companionship, and emotional support. We will make sure your loved one receives proper nutrition, they are taking the correct medication, and more. Home Care Assistance brings peace of mind to families because your loved one is cared for by the very best, most reliable caregivers. We are on call to serve you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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