Traveling with elderly patients can certainly be a challenge, but there are many things that caregivers and family members can do to make it easier, safer, and less stressful. Planning ahead is essential to make sure everything goes smoothly and also to ensure that the traveler gets the most for their money. Last minute bookings are often expensive and should be avoided if possible.
When flying, here are some tips for easier travel:
1. Arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare; getting through security can take much longer if the airport is busy or the patient moves slowly, and having to rush will only add to the stress
2. If possible, arrange in advance to have a wheelchair available and access to any special services offered to senior citizens
3. Make sure that the traveler has all of their identification, insurance information, itinerary, money, and medications; have copies of any instructions from physicians about medications or medical devices such as a pacemaker
4. Try not to pack too many clothing or other items; comfortable shoes are definitely necessary
5. To make the actual flight more comfortable, take a pillow and reading material or anything else for entertainment on the flight such as crossword puzzles or card games.
A common theme among senior citizen travel is to visit out of town family members, especially children, grandchildren, or even great grandchildren for a special event or just for a vacation. As soon as a wedding, birthday, or graduation announcement arrives, start planning the vacation! In addition to visiting family, there are many vacation destinations that cater to senior citizens. Many cruise lines have special senior citizen cruises, which can be a wonderful social experience for any seniors who want to enjoy the company of others and make new friends on their trip. Many destinations (such as Branson, Missouri, for example) have tons of specialty tours for senior citizens. Caregivers can find an abundance of information online about these tours, and should also check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure they are legitimate companies before paying for anything.