Many families go on vacation together. When a parent grows older it should not mean the tradition needs to change. However, preparation for the journey may take longer. Traveling with older parents is a great way to spend time together while making lasting memories. Use these tips to plan your vacation with a senior parent.
1. Get a Physician’s Approval
Make an appointment with your parent’s physician before planning the trip. Discuss the location, activities, and duration of the vacation. Determine if your parent needs vaccinations, medications, or supplements for general physical health or emotional issues. Fill all prescriptions before leaving.
2. Plan Ahead for Services
Consider the type of vehicle that will accommodate your elderly parent. For some seniors, it is easier to enter and exit a minivan or SUV. If your loved one requires assistive devices for mobility, make sure the vehicle has room to store the items. Mobility issues may also necessitate getting a hotel room on the ground floor. Certain hotels also feature elevators. If your parent has dietary concerns, inform airlines in advance.
3. Bring Necessary Documentation
Make sure your parent has the appropriate documents, which include his or her driver’s license, passport, insurance cards, and any physician’s instructions. Consider getting photocopies of insurance or Medicare cards. If you are traveling with a parent diagnosed with dementia, get an identification bracelet or some type of wearable GPS device.
4. Plan Activities Carefully
Be realistic about your parent’s physical and mental capabilities. Walking great distances may prove too much for him or her. In case your parent has diabetes, he or she may need to snack at various times throughout the day. Seniors with Parkinson’s need to be mindful of extreme temperatures or resting times, and those with dementia may become irritable in the afternoon or confused in crowded places.
5. Pack Essentials
If your parent will be seated for an extended time, consider purchasing support stockings for him or her to reduce the chances of developing blood clots or numbness. Choose light clothes, which can be layered according to the weather. Bring along important medical information wherever you go, and keep documents handy in case of emergency. Other useful items to bring along include sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, fluids, and snacks.
6. Predetermine Medical Facilities
If your senior loved one has medical conditions, find out in advance where the quick care clinics or hospitals are. This information is especially necessary if you are unfamiliar with the location you are traveling to. Remember to bring contact information for your parent’s primary care physician.
Seniors who have a medical condition sometimes require assistance from a caregiver. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Colorado Springs, CO, respite home care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
7. Avoid Stress
Rushing to catch a flight or to reach a destination before closing time can add stress to an otherwise enjoyable trip. Arrive earlier than necessary to give your parent time to recover from the journey. If you are driving, make stops along the way so your parent can stretch his or her legs, use the restroom, or enjoy the view. If things do not go as planned, be flexible enough to change the itinerary. The goal is for everyone to have fun.
If you are a caregiver and sometimes find it challenging to accomplish your duties, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Colorado Springs elder home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
If your loved one has a serious medical condition such as Alzheimer’s, consider hiring a trained caregiver. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Colorado Springs families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s home care needs. Call (719) 822-1229 to speak to a qualified Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.