It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for family get-togethers! With so many families separated by geographic distance, or simply just because of the demands of life, all of us enjoy the chance to reconnect with close friends and family over the holidays. And for seniors, the opportunity to spend quality time with family is particularly priceless.
Yet as enjoyable as family time is, the logistics of getting together are often complex. If your family’s matriarch or patriarch is going to be traveling to participate in family celebrations this holiday season, these travel tips for seniors can make the journey much simpler and more comfortable for everyone:
- Meet Mobility Needs. Regardless of whether a senior loved one needs a walker or wheelchair on a normal day or not, it is best to make arrangements to have mobility assistance readily available. Review the layout for the airport, train or bus station, hotel, etc. and confirm that a wheelchair could be rented if needed.
- Verify Insurance Coverage. Review the senior’s insurance coverage to make certain that any emergency needs would be covered. For example, if traveling to another country, Medicare coverage will not be available. Investigate 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. Special services are offered for seniors as well as others with certain needs, such as preboarding on flights, assistance with managing baggage, accessibility accommodations at hotels – even such details as waterproof bed coverings for those who are incontinent. Do not ever hesitate to ask for what you will need to help the senior to be as comfortable as possible.
- Make Use of Senior Discounts. A plethora of discounts are available to aging parents, through AARP as well as through hotels, restaurants, major airlines, cruises, etc. A small amount of preplanning can ensure you’re able to make the best use of all savings for which your loved one is entitled.
- Allow for Plenty of Downtime. While our very first thought might be to maximize time with family by enjoying as many sights as you can, the simple truth is, traveling is draining, and it’s worthwhile to add lots of time for the senior just to relax. And don’t forget to add bathroom and meal/snack breaks – every two hours is best.
First and foremost, savor each moment of your time together with family this holiday season. Record the memories through pictures, videos, and journaling, to allow your older loved one to relive the experiences after returning home.
You might even want to think about engaging the services of the Anthem Home Care team to provide transportation accompaniment. Our knowledgeable, highly trained and experienced caregivers can ensure the senior’s needs are fully met throughout your family’s time together, giving everyone an even more peaceful and enjoyable experience. Call us at 361-643-2323 for more information about our top-rated home care and dementia care in Portland and the surrounding areas!