Being elderly does not mean an end to fun activities, traveling included. Spending quality time with family becomes increasingly important the older a person gets. Traveling does get a little more difficult with age and there are some elderly care considerations to keep in mind. Seniors have different needs than younger people so it’s important to be fully aware of those needs before hitting the road.
You will pack differently for an elderly person than you would for yourself. Please remember that, unlike children, they have had complete control over their adult lives, so include them in the packing process. Make this fun, not another exercise in taking away their choices.
Elderly Aide Travel Kit
Plan ahead with their needs in mind. Consider having a travel kit tucked in a bag or backpack that stays with you as you travel. This will allow you to have necessary items on hand instead of digging through different suitcases to find them. Things you might include:
Doctor and insurance information–You never know what is going to happen on a trip. With the elderly, it is important to be even more cautious because even a simple fall can be devastating. Keep their doctor's contact information and an insurance card with you at all times. Consider having a medical power of attorney letter with you, just in case.
Medications–Have a week-long pill divider with their medications already sorted into it. You won’t have to worry about remembering if they took their meds or not. If they have to take pills multiple times per day, set reminders on your phone. Have a copy of the prescriptions with you as well.
Batteries and repair kits–Take extra hearing aid batteries with you, as well as any other maintenance needs. Consider a glasses repair kit too, so they aren’t stuck with broken glasses on the trip.
Incontinence supplies–No one likes this part but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Accidents are a fact of life so pack extra undergarments or adult protection, spare pants, and wipes. Be prepared to bring compassion. Your loved one already feels humiliated, so they will need understanding and compassion, not judgment and frustration. They are not at fault for their body’s degeneration.
Snacks–Bring foods that will keep their blood sugar level and will agree with their digestive system during travel. Bring water and other drinks to keep them hydrated.
Compression Stockings–Elderly are at risk for forming blood clots in their legs if they sit in a car or plane too long. Compression stockings and frequent breaks to stand up and move around help combat clots.
Elderly Care Services You Can Provide While Traveling
Traveling with a senior requires more than just knowing what to pack. They need your care and patience, especially during a time when they are not in their usual routine. There are a couple of basic ways you can serve your elderly loved ones while on the road together.
Plan Ahead–What do your travel plans look like? Whether it’s a car or plane, plan to make stops or ask about senior accommodations. Consider your loved one when you decide where to stay. Does it have easy access for walkers or other paraphernalia? Avoid places that don’t have elevators.
Communicate–Your loved one is a person. They have had autonomy over their entire adult lives. Making decisions without them makes them feel disempowered and disregarded. Seniors with cognitive issues like dementia need communication even more. This helps them process ahead of time and not be blindsided with surprises.
All people deserve compassion but our elderly loved ones even more so. Remember to be understanding and patient with them as you travel. They will appreciate it and the trip will be much less stressful for them.
Symphony Senior Living
Symphony senior living strives to provide care and support that allows seniors to enjoy their retirement to its fullest. We provide exceptional services throughout all of our communities. If you have questions or would like to inquire about our facilities visit Symphony’s website today.