You’ve booked a vacation and you’re really excited. It’s not just any ordinary vacation, it’s a cruise. You can’t wait to be on a giant tub full of music, movies, and liquor, sailing from place to place and generally having a swell time being out in the open waters. There’s only one problem; you’re also taking along an elderly loved one. Not a problem as much as it is a hindrance. Taking care of elders is hard enough, but how do you make sure they’re well looked after during the cruise?
In this post we’ll be going over a few beginner tips to help you ensure that your cruise goes smoothly with an elderly passenger by your side. The better prepared you are the more enjoyable this cruise can be. So let’s dive in, or set sail, and discuss how to take care of an elderly passenger on a cruise.
Bring Along Relevant Medication
When we say relevant medication we mean two types of medication; one being the medication your elderly companion is reliant on, and the other being medication to help with sea sickness among other difficulties brought on by life out at sea. Obviously, having medication your elderly passenger needs is a no-brainer. Just make sure to stock up on plenty of it to make it through the cruise. You can’t be exactly sure if you’ll be able to purchase any. But there are many different medicines and remedies out there that help a person not feel sea sick. These items are almost essential to fully enjoy a cruise, especially with an elderly passenger in tow.
Ask The Staff For Help
The staff on cruise ships is there to make sure you have an excellent time. And asking them for help is not something you should shy away from. If you’re trying to find something, or even require assistance with a task, make sure to reach out and someone would be glad to help you. They’ll want to help even more when they see you’re with an elder. Staff members are a good source of getting to know where all the important locations of the ship are and what to do if your elderly passenger requires any kind of help. Some will go out of their way to help you and your partner and might even let other staff members know so they keep an eye out for you.
Pack Items To Keep Them Comfortable
Cruise lines are usually very adept at keeping all your needs in check and having everything remain in stock, but it is always a good idea to pack some extra items. Pillows, clothing items, blankets and quilts, all are reasonable items to bring along extra quantities of. It is always better to be safe than sorry. And finding yourself without blankets for your elderly passenger can be a very bad experience you’re better off never encountering. Also, being aware of the fact that you have backup supplies ready at all times does wonders for your peace of mind and greatly enhances the fun of the cruise.
Plan Ahead, Intelligently
No matter what kind of trip or vacation you might be going on, always plan ahead. This saves you a ton of headache and unnecessary complications later on. However, when you factor in an elderly passenger coming along with you, you have to plan accordingly. Firstly, it can be useful to actually plan everything out with them beforehand. Them knowing the plan and time estimations can prevent heated arguments and other troubles during the trip or vacation. Secondly, gauge their reliance on you and plan everything according to that. Play it smart. If you believe they can slow you down, double the time expectation of doing something or getting somewhere. If you think they might get tired too quickly or not leave enough time at the end of the day, cut some plans out of your schedule for that day. You’re there to spend some quality time with them, not check off every box on a bucket list.
Rent A Tracking Device
Some cruise liners actually offer you the option to rent a GPS tracking device. This might be worth looking out for when booking your cruise. If you give your elderly companion one of these not only do you get more peace of mind and freedom, the elderly passenger is less restrained as well. With these useful gadgets you are aware that you can check up on the elder’s position at any time, and it is a really freeing thought. This can be a life changer and bias you towards certain cruise lines in the future.
It is very easy to get lost in all the activities the cruise might be offering. It can be such an exciting and fun experience for you that it might not cross your mind that the elderly passenger might be feeling left out. Remember to participate in everything with moderation and take your elderly passenger to activities that may suit them more, like bingo. This way both of you enjoy yourselves and have a good time and no one needs to feel neglected.
Schedule According To Need
During the cruise it would serve you well to be aware of your elderly passenger’s likes and dislikes and plan events accordingly. If it is difficult to navigate through crowds for them, you might want to schedule something at a quieter and emptier time. If they fall asleep early you might want to schedule dinner early as well. Little thoughtful gestures like this will help both of you find the cruise more appealing and bonding and will also raise your view in their eyes.
Plan A Shorter Cruise
If this is the first time you and your elderly companion are going on a cruise, you might want to consider booking a shorter cruise than you normally would have gone for. This would allow you to see their reaction to sea life firsthand and help you both understand what it is you want from a cruise. The next one can be longer and even better because of the experience you’ve already had.
And that concludes our small list of advice for going on a cruise with an elderly passenger. Changed your mind for a more grounded trip? Here is our piece on how to prepare for a road trip with an elderly passenger in tow. Taking to the skies instead? Learn how to prepare for a flight with an elderly passenger here.