Taking a break from the doldrums of everyday life is important for restoring your body and brain. Many Americans travel to a favorite destination once a year to rest and relax and restore their energy. If vacations are a big part of your yearly calendar, you may be concerned at the prospect of taking your senior on vacation with you. After all, what do you do when Mom or Grandma no longer seem up the task of that yearly trek to Florida? Are family vacations over? Not necessarily!
When caring for an aging loved one, taking a vacation can seem daunting. With concerns about their aging loved one’s health and comfort on the road, most families simply rule out the possibility of getting away. However, if family vacations have been a yearly highlight for you and a parent/grandparent, don’t be discouraged. With the proper help and research, you and yours can be relaxing on the sand in no time. For great travel destinations for seniors, click here.
6 tips for taking your senior on vacation this year.
1. Planning Ahead is Key to Success
While planning is important for any smooth travel experience, it is especially vital to plan ahead when traveling with a senior. For starters, an aging parent may be concerned about travel time and rest stops. Communicating a clear and set plan to your parent will ease their minds while ensuring a smoother travel experience for everyone. Some things to consider when planning ahead include but are not limited to: double checking packing lists, researching comfortable overnight accommodations, reviewing emergency plans in the case of accidents, and packing the right snacks and meals. Of course, make sure to take in consideration any others you have with you on vacation, such as young children. It is important for them to feel comfortable and cared for as well. For more tips on planning ahead, click here.
2. Decide the Best Mode of Transportation
If it is a family tradition to drive 10 hours to the beach every summer, perhaps consider other alternatives when taking your senior on vacation with you. Sitting in the car for hours on end may not be very comfortable anymore for Mom or Dad. If flying is an option, consider going to the airport this year for a faster travel time. Just remember to double check any prescription medications and other travel items you are taking with you to make sure they are in line with airport regulations.
3. Look Ahead for Handicap Access if Necessary
If you have a family member with mobility issues, it is important to call your destination place ahead of time to see what accommodations they offer. If booking a cabin or cottage, make sure there is elevator access or rooms on the first floor for seniors in wheelchairs. Think about what activities you will be doing as well – are they in locations that are handicap friendly? Again, planning ahead is crucial when taking your senior on vacation so as to ensure a comfortable trip for everyone.
4. Keep Track of Meds
When on vacation, many of us lose track of time because we are enjoying the rest and relaxation. While it is good to let your mind wander for a time, make sure you don’t forget necessary activities like reminding your senior about medications. If your Mom or Dad is prone to neglecting their meds, be sure to set reminders on your phone (or theirs) so that no one forgets. Then, go out and enjoy the summer sun worry-free! For helpful tips taking your medication on the plane, click here.
5. Consider Travel Insurance
When taking your senior on vacation with you, remember that senior travelers have different set of health and safety concerns than you. It is helpful then to have travel insurance for any unexpected falls or related accidents. Away from home and familiar doctors, accidents on the road can be scarier than normal. Having a peace of mind about insurance can really help make for a more enjoyable vacation.
6. Don’t Over-Schedule Your Vacation
It can be tempting to want to fill up your week off with fun activities and games, but keep your senior in mind as you plan. Is Dad really up for a full day at the beach and a game of mini golf in the evening? For most seniors, the late morning to early afternoon is the best time of day to go out, as that is the time when they have the most energy. Just because your parent is aging doesn’t necessarily mean your family has to stop engaging in your favorite summer activities. You may just have to think more carefully about the duration and kind of activities you plan. And of course, be sure to consult with their doctor about any medical concerns beforehand.
Need Help Taking Care of Your Senior?
If your loved one needs help with transportation, medications or daily activities, consider caregogi.com. Caregogi matches seniors in need of caregivers. Visit Caregogi’s website to learn more by clicking the button below.