It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for family get-togethers! With many families separated by geographic distance, or simply as a consequence of the busyness of life, all of us look forward to the chance to reconnect with those we love over the holiday season. And for aging parents, the chance to spend quality time with family is particularly valuable.
Yet as pleasant as family time is, the logistics of getting together are sometimes complex. If your family’s matriarch or patriarch will be traveling to join in family celebrations this holiday season, these holiday tips can make traveling with a senior adult a lot easier and significantly more comfortable for everyone:
- Meet Mobility Needs. Regardless of whether your loved one requires a walker or wheelchair on an ordinary day or not, it’s a good idea to make arrangements to have mobility assistance available when traveling with a senior loved one. Review the layout of the airport, train or bus station, hotel, etc. and check to ensure a wheelchair can be rented if required.
- Verify Insurance Coverage. Review the older adult’s insurance coverage to ensure any emergency needs will be covered. For instance, if traveling abroad, Medicare coverage will not be available. Check out travel insurance options, and check the U.S. Department of State’s website for assistance with international insurance options.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help. Specialized offerings are available for seniors as well as others with specific needs, such as preboarding on flights, help with handling luggage, accessibility accommodations at hotels – even such details as waterproof bed coverings for those who are incontinent. Never be afraid to ask for what you will need to help the senior to be as comfortable as possible.
- Utilize Senior Discounts. Numerous discounts are available to the elderly, through AARP as well as through hotels, restaurants, major airlines, cruises, etc. A little preplanning can make certain you’re able to take advantage of all discounts for which the senior is entitled.
- Allow for Plenty of Downtime. Although our initial thought might be to maximize time with family by taking advantage of as many sights as possible, the reality is, traveling is exhausting, and it’s worthwhile to add plenty of time for your loved one just to relax. And don’t forget to incorporate bathroom and meal/snack breaks – every two hours is ideal.
Most importantly, savor every minute of your time together with family this holiday season. Record the memories through photographs, videos, and journaling, to enable your older loved one to relive the experiences after returning home.
You may want to consider engaging the services of the Inspired Home Care team to provide transportation accompaniment. Our knowledgeable, highly trained and experienced caregivers can make sure the senior’s needs are completely met during your family’s time with each other, giving everyone with a more relaxed and enjoyable experience. Reach out to us at 847-787-7572 for more information about our top-rated elder care in Wilmette and the surrounding communities!