It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for family get-togethers! With many families separated by regional distance, or just as a result of the busyness of life, we all anticipate the chance to reconnect with close friends and family during the holiday season. And for the elderly, the chance to spend quality time with family is especially important.
Yet as pleasant as family time is, the logistics of getting together can be complex. If your family’s matriarch or patriarch is going to be traveling to join in family festivities this holiday season, these stress free travel tips can make the journey a lot easier and more comfortable for all:
- Meet Mobility Needs. Whether a senior loved one requires a walker or wheelchair on an ordinary day or not, it is a smart idea to make arrangements to have mobility assistance available. Review the layout of the airport, train or bus station, hotel, etc. and ensure that a wheelchair could be rented if required.
- Confirm Insurance Coverage. Review the senior’s insurance coverage to ensure that any emergency needs will be covered. For instance, if traveling to another country, Medicare coverage will not be available. Check into travel insurance options, and review the U.S. Department of State’s website for assistance with international insurance options.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help. Special help is available for the elderly and others with certain needs, such as preboarding on flights, assistance with handling baggage, accessibility accommodations at hotels – even such details as waterproof bed coverings for those who are incontinent. You should never hesitate to ask for what you will need to help the senior to be as comfortable as possible.
- Make Use of Senior Discounts. Multiple discounts are available to senior loved ones, through AARP as well as through hotels, restaurants, major airlines, cruises, etc. A little bit of preplanning can make certain you are able to take full advantage of all the good deals for which the older adult is eligible.
- Plan for Plenty of Downtime. While our first thought can be to optimize time with family by enjoying as many sights as possible, the fact is, traveling is exhausting, and it’s essential to include lots of time for the senior loved one to simply relax. And do not forget to include bathroom and meal/snack breaks – every 2 hours is ideal.
Most of all, relish every minute of your time together with family this holiday season. Capture the memories through photographs, videos, and journaling, to allow your older loved one to relive the experiences after going back home.
You might even like to consider engaging the services of the Morning Glory Home Care team to assist when traveling with a senior loved one. Our knowledgeable, fully trained and experienced caregivers can ensure the senior’s needs are completely met throughout your family’s time together, providing everyone with a far more relaxed and pleasurable experience. Reach out to us at 618-667-8400 for more information about our trusted home health care in O’Fallon, IL and the surrounding areas.