Summer vacations are a great way to spend time with the family. That also means traveling! As a caregiver, there is a good chance you will at some point be traveling with your aging loved one this summer. Follow our tips below to make your summer travels are a breeze.
Plan for Special Accommodations
If your aging loved one has mobility or health concern, you need to plan as far in advance as possible. If there are mobility issues, contact the airport for a wheelchair service or reserve a seat that is designated for disabled travelers. In addition, you may need hotel accommodations that have the appropriate support in the bathroom and bedroom. Contact the hotel to make sure your specific needs are met in advance so there isn’t a scramble at the last minute.
Review, Pack and Take Medications
When you know that a trip is coming up, make sure to review all of the medication your loved one needs and ensure that you have an appropriate supply for the trip. If needed, contact your physician to request an additional prescription if the supplies are low. When flying, it’s a good practice to pack important medications in a carry-on bag to avoid problems if checked baggage is lost or arrives late. Also, take a copy of the prescription(s) with you in case of an emergency so you can go to a pharmacy if needed. Make sure you are managing your medications and consider a medication management app if you are traveling for a long period of time.
Be Considerate When Packing
Think about the weight of the suitcase when packing and what you put in it. If you are helping your aging loved one pack than consider:
- Using a roller bag to avoid any shoulder or arm strain
- Including extra supplies (such as eye glasses, sunscreen, or other items they may need/use frequently)
- Packing lighter if possible
- Carrying the heavier items for your loved one
- Bringing supportive devices or resources (i.e. canes, walkers, wheelchairs, incontinence products for men and women, etc.)
Plan Activities with Everyone in Mind
When planning the day-to-day activities of the vacation or trip – keep everyone’s needs in mind. You need to consider mobility issues, health concerns, and general interests as well. Think about what you hope to get out of the vacation and make sure to ask your loved ones what they would like to do as well. Schedule time to rest and give yourself plenty of time to get around.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
It is very important during the trip to check-in on how your aging loved one is feeling, especially if they have any chronic health conditions. Before departing, go over their needs, planned activities, and outline any foreseeable concerns. A good tip is to have everyone’s contact information shared in case you get separated (as well as the hotel information!).
You should never be afraid to travel! You will have a great experience and an even better one if you are prepared. Remember this is about relaxing and enjoying yourself. Take a trip and have fun!