Travel Bags With Annita has pulled together 10 Tips for Baby Boomers and Empty Nesters who are stepping into the role of caretaker for parents and elderly family members. Travel to nearby locations and far away destinations requires extra planning and care for older family members and their caregivers too. The goal is to travel with less stress and no mishaps.
We have ten tips to help smooth the way to a memorable trip.
- Work ahead of time to make sure any needed assistance during the trip will be provided. (Aging Care)
- Request seating designated for disabled travelers.
- Advise the travel company of any dietary needs.
- And if no one can assist an elderly traveler while at the airport, train station, etc. you may call ahead of time to make arrangements for an employee to help the passenger with making their way through security, finding their gate, and boarding.
- It is important to know that if requests are not made ahead of time, many travel companies are not obligated to provide them at arrival.
- Be aware of all paperwork and identification you might need. (Aging Care)
- The highest level of identification is a passport. Give yourself a few months in advance to get a passport if you do not have on already. If you do have on, make sure it is not expired.
- If needed, ask your physician and medical center to provide copies of prescriptions and medical conditions.
- Make multiple copies of passports, driver’s licenses, insurance cards, travel tickets, and any statements or prescriptions from physicians. Place one set in the elderly traveler’s carry-on bag, another in additional luggage, send the third to anyone waiting at the arrival destination, and keep the fourth copy at home.
- A neck pillow can help support the neck and head, allowing for more comfortable sleep and avoid neck and back pain. (Aging Care)
- When planning a vacation, consider cruises or tours. They provide a pre-planned schedule which can help alleviate stress. There are also tours meant specifically for disabled travelers, providing all travelers with a comfortable and enjoyable experience. (Aging Care)
- If the elderly traveler is 75 or older, they have expedited security clearance. This means they do not have to remove their shoes or jackets and they may be able to access security lanes that do not have long lines. (Cheap Air)
- If you are planning a trip with an elderly parent, research the destination’s accessibility. For instance, a simple search of the city’s name and “Wheelchair accessibility” can help provide resources for making your decision. Also consider sidewalk conditions, the frequency of public transportation, and how many potential flight changes might come up. (New York Times)
- Make time for breaks and relaxation during your sightseeing. After seeing one destination, it might be a good idea to stop and enjoy the scenery for a little while, or get lunch before going to the next destination. (New York Times)
- If you are traveling to destination where the most common language is not your own, write any medical conditions or other needs in the host language just in case you need to communicate with local physicians, airport workers, etc. (New York Times)
- Research hospitals and care centers that are closest to your hotel in case of emergencies. (A Place for Mom)