Traveling is one of the great pleasures for most people. Many seniors chose to spend their golden years visiting exotic places and exploring new cultures and locals. Seniors may not possess the energy they once had. Traveling early in the morning or late at night can be exhausting for them. Try to travel in the mid-morning or early afternoon so they could feel pleasant.
Traveling is amazing and encouraging, but there are some important safety tips to keep in mind when traveling with seniors. If you are planning to take your parents for the vacations, get ready for the challenge. Here are special considerations (safety tips) to keep in mind while traveling with the seniors.
1. Plan Your Trip Carefully
To maximize enjoyment and minimize stress, you should plan your trip carefully. There are several websites and travel apps that are easy to use by anyone. Planning your trip beforehand helps to overcome the issues before they occur. Make your trip senior-friendly by considering their likes and dislikes. Take care of cleanliness, wash and rinse your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer, especially after spending time in a plane, train, or bus. Help the seniors to do the same.
2. Watch What You Eat
Food standards in other places where you are traveling are not always hygienic. Pay special attention when eating out in the restaurant with the seniors as their immune system may not be strong enough to fight against unhygienic food. Beware of ice cubes that are made with unfiltered water. Also, be conscious of the ingredients your seniors are eating.
Ask them to drink plenty of water when traveling, especially by plane. The air inside the plane is dry, carry a large water bottle with you and ask them to drink it with short intervals. Pay special attention when deciding what to eat and drink. In addition to everything said earlier, protect yourself and your seniors from infections and dehydration.
3. Pack the Medication
Always pack your elderly loved one’s medicines when traveling with them. Keep the medicines in your hand carry so that it’s in your reach. Ask your seniors about their medications and keep them in bulk quantity as every medicine is not available everywhere. Be very attentive as it could create trouble for you during the trip.
Seniors may also benefit from using car caddies and organizers when traveling. Read our Guide to Selecting Car Caddies and Organizers for Seniors to learn more about these.
4. Request Special Services
Never hesitate – at the airport, on the plane, on your cruise, at a resort, all you have to do is to ask for a special service. Wherever you are, the management is responsible for providing special service to the seniors. If the seniors traveling with you have trouble with the stairs or mobility, you should ask management for the help, and they will provide what is required.
You may also check out our list of the Best Walkers for Elderly for recommendations if your senior loved ones need one when traveling.
5. Get the Seniors Vaccinated Beforehand
Always ask your doctor for the vaccines like Twinrix before you take off with the seniors. Take them for the checkup and make them feel healthy and comfortable as much as possible. If you’re traveling overseas with the seniors, they may need certain vaccination before departing.
6. Comfort Them
Most of the seniors feel uncomfortable while they travel. They hesitate to ask for help again and again. Now, it’s your job to comfort them and make them feel relaxed. Try to comfort them before you start your journey – go ahead and tell them that nothing will go wrong. If they still fear, hold their hand with comforting pressure during takeoff and landing.
Always engage them with yourself and never let them feel alone. They might not complain about anything, but you are responsible for taking care of their feelings and requirements when they need it the most.
7. Occupy Them With Different Activities
Indeed, time passes faster when you are doing something. Traveling long distances without doing any activity can be exhausted. For this reason, it is a good idea to bring along some interesting books, newspapers, or card games with you to keep your elders occupied. If they feel bored during the flight, they can get frustrated, which could lead to anger. However, if they have something to focus on, they will enjoy the trip, and you’ll feel relaxed as well.
8. Consult Your Health Care Provider
Make a visit to your healthcare provider and explain your travel plan and discuss the travel precautions you should take for the seniors. Your provider may ask you to get your elderly loved ones necessary shots.
9. Guard Your Elderly Loved Ones Against Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Elders run a higher-than-average risk of DVT, which happens when blood clots form in your veins and block blood flow, usually in the legs. Sitting still for a long time in the same position during the flight or on the train can contribute to DVT.
According to research, wearing compression stockings can help to restrain this dangerous condition. Also, you should allow your elderly ones to take some breaks for walking or doing leg exercises during a long trip as it can help to defend from developing DVT.
10. Get it in A Hard Copy
Make a list of all the prescriptions and supplements your seniors take, including the dose, what time they take the medication, and what they take it for. Ask your pharmacist or doctor to help you make a list and request them to review it for accuracy. This list should include both generic and brand drug names and the amount of each medicine they need to take on the trip.
Also, ask your doctor for a list of current medical issues the seniors have and how they are being treated. Having all the record on paper will be easy and simple for you to get through customs and to get a replacement of medication if needed. Make a copy of this list; carry one with you and give one to the senior(s) you are traveling with.
Getting older doesn’t mean that the seniors should stop traveling. It’s the responsibility of the younger adults to look after them. The senior years can prove to hold some of the most exciting and memorable experiences of life – so, don’t let them down if they want to take a road trip, cruise trip or fly to another country for fun. Age is just a number,particularly when it comes to traveling and exploring the world. You should follow all these safety tipsto help the seniors travel, enjoy, and return safely.