It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for family get-togethers! With many families separated by geographic distance, or just because of the busyness of life, all of us look forward to the opportunity to reconnect with close friends and family over the holidays. And for aging parents, the opportunity to spend quality time with family members is especially important.
Yet as pleasant as family time is, the logistics of getting together are often complicated. If your family’s matriarch or patriarch is going to be traveling to join in family festivities this holiday season, these travel tips for senior citizens will make the journey much simpler and significantly comfortable for all:
- Meet Mobility Needs. Whether a senior loved one needs a walker or wheelchair on a typical day or not, it’s a good idea to make arrangements to have mobility assistance readily available. Be sure to review the layout of the airport, train or bus station, hotel, etc. and make sure that a wheelchair can be rented if necessary.
- Confirm Insurance Coverage. Review the older adult’s insurance plan to make sure that any emergency needs will be covered. For instance, if traveling overseas, Medicare coverage will not be available. Look into travel insurance options, and check the U.S. Department of State’s website for help with international insurance options.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help. Special services are offered for the elderly and others with specific needs, including preboarding on flights, help with managing baggage, accessibility accommodations at hotels – even such details as waterproof bed coverings for those who are incontinent. You should never be reluctant to ask for what you will need to help the senior to be as comfortable as possible.
- Make Use of Senior Discounts. Numerous discounts are available to older adults, through AARP as well as through hotels, restaurants, major airlines, cruises, etc. A little preplanning can make certain you are able to take full advantage of all savings for which the senior loved one is eligible.
- Plan for Plenty of Downtime. Although our initial thought might be to maximize time with family by enjoying as many sights as possible, the truth is, traveling is exhausting, and it’s essential to add plenty of time for the senior to simply relax. And do not forget to incorporate bathroom and meal/snack breaks – every two hours is ideal.
Above all, savor every moment of your time together with family this holiday season. Record the memories through photographs, videos, and journaling, to allow your older loved one to relive the experiences upon returning home.
You may also want to consider engaging the services of a Hearts at Home In-Home Care caregiver to provide transportation accompaniment. Our knowledgeable, highly trained and qualified caregivers can make sure the senior’s needs are completely met during your family’s time with each other, providing everyone with an even more peaceful and enjoyable experience. Call us at 913-440-4209 for additional information about our top-rated professional help at home in Kansas City and the surrounding communities.