Age might be just a number, but sometimes there are real safety concerns when it comes to our older family members traveling across the country. Whether you’re the one taking the trip or you’re mapping out the itinerary for your loved one, safety can be planned right into the trip.
Attention to safety starts long before packing for the trip. The most important thing to think about is mobility concerns. For example, people who use canes and walkers aren’t necessarily suited to go on a primitive canoeing trip in the Amazon, but they might really love a stay at a Rio de Janeiro all-inclusive resort.
Before Reserving Tickets:
Ask About Ramps and Mobility
Different resorts and vacation hubs have different amenities. One might be extremely good to those who need a little help moving, where another might cater to the younger populations. Learn about those which are friendlier to people who have mobility issues. These places might also have activities that are less intensive.
Get Airport Services Lined Up
The airport can be a grueling place to walk even with a cane. Most airports, however, have trams and wheelchairs available for those who are not as mobile as others. By arranging these beforehand, you can save the potential of injury. Usually, this is a complimentary service which only needs to be reserved in advance.
Plan as Well as Possible
Very few of us really like change, and if your loved one’s mental faculties are impaired, it’s recommended that you plan everything out as thoroughly as possible beforehand so that you can help your loved one prepare for the change in scenery and events that will occur.
Make Sure Passports are Current
If you or your elderly loved ones are traveling internationally, you need to make sure that your passports are valid. There are some countries that insist that your passport be valid up to six months past the time that you plan to be there. Your travel agent should know the rules of the country – it’s devastating to find out that you’re not going to be allowed in the country because of administrative hassles.
A Few Days Before:
Visit the Primary Care Doctor
A visit to the primary care doctor is always in order before taking a trip. He or she will make sure that you or your loved one are indeed up for traveling and that there are no major new issues that you need to be aware of. They can also help you get any prescriptions refilled.
Get those Prescriptions Refilled
Anyone who has traveled and takes medication is probably highly aware of the headaches which come with the lack of meds. There’s finding a new pharmacy, getting prescriptions called in, and more. By getting the prescriptions refilled ahead of time, that whole debacle can be avoided.
Grab Some Snacks for the Carry-On
Though it’s usually great to travel, it still piles on a lot of stress. That stress can throw your blood sugar off. If you’ve got things to nibble on in the carry-on bags, the blood sugar has a better chance of stabilizing and it’s more likely that you or your loved one will be able to handle the trip better.
Pack Light but Well
Your elderly loved one is more sensitive to climate changes, so the packing should be done accordingly. Make sure that there are enough sweaters if it’s cold or sunscreen if it’s hot. Finding more clothes or more appropriate clothes can be a real hassle if you’re already in your vacation destination.
The Day of the Trip / Upon Arrival:
Wear Loose-Fitting Clothes
Think about comfort before you start thinking about style. If you’re going to be in an airport for long periods of time, there’s no real reason to be dressed to the nines. The people who will see you on the other end won’t be offended if you go ‘loose and scruffy’ for the trip.
Inform Your Medical Alert Company
If you’re wearing a medical alert bracelet device for your safety, you want to make sure that they know where you are so they can locate the emergency personnel in the area that you’re in. It does no good to dispatch the people in Cleveland if you’re in Orlando.
If everything is properly prepared, traveling doesn’t have to be a hassle in the least. Take the time to think out each step, and when you get there it can be fun in the sun instead of crying in the rain.