5 Tips for Traveling with Older Family Members
Traveling with an elderly family member is sometimes a trying experience. This is true not only for travel companions but for the senior as well. Instead of fearing extended trips with an older family member, you may find it a pleasant and exciting activity, as long as you do a bit of planning.
Make Sure the Senior is Healthy Enough to Travel
It is a good idea to make sure everyone in your family is healthy enough to travel before taking a trip, but this is especially important when traveling with an older person. If it is possible, you should speak with your relative's doctor to make sure they have the medical clearance to take the trip. When you talk with the doctor, remember to ask about any restrictions or medication and make sure you have emergency medical contact numbers.
Stick to the Senior's Normal Schedule as Much as Possible
Although travel makes it difficult to follow the person's exact schedule, try not to radically alter it. Pay special attention to the usual time they usually go to bed, get up and eat. Being able to keep these times can go a long way in improving the travel experience for everyone. Remember to ensure you have a plan to accommodate any special dietary restrictions.
Adjust Your Travel Schedule to Make it as Low-Stress as Possible
Long or uncomfortable journeys can cause anyone to become irritable. Minimize any chance of discomfort by planning direct flights while flying and perhaps opting for traveling by train rather than being cooped up in a car for hours. Keep things low-key by working plenty of time into your travel itinerary to avoid the need to rush to make a connection.
Keep Your Relative Comfortable and Entertained
Ensure the senior is wearing loose, comfortable clothing and is neither too cold nor too hot. This is especially important while traveling by airplane where the cabin can become chilly. Offer your relative favorite snacks throughout the journey and make sure they are drinking enough water to remain hydrated. Pack a few books or an MP3 player with your family member's favorite music so they won't get bored.
Take Advantage of Additional Services
When you are traveling by plane or train, the crew members can assist you with your relative. Most air carriers and trains offer pre-boarding for elderly passengers. Many airports and stations provide mobility assistance if you request it. Don't feel bad about taking advantage of these kinds of perks. There may be additional services for an older passenger, and it only takes a moment to ask.
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