Traveling on vacation with aging parents can be difficult. But it’s important for families to remember that taking a senior loved one along creates memories for the entire family. Planning ahead is key to having a successful, smooth vacation that everyone will enjoy.
Blue Water Homecare Founder and COO Jennifer Prescott, RN, MSN, CDP recently spoke with Austin-based caregiver support group, Parenting Aging Parents, on how to make summer vacations with aging parents enjoyable for everyone. You can watch the interview here or read her tips below.
Planning for Travel with Your Senior
If you’re planning to travel with your elderly parents or loved one, let’s look at the most important things to pack to ensure they stay safe.
- ID cards
- Cards with personal information including any medical conditions
- Medications and medication list
- Doctor contact information
- Emergency contact list
- Current photo to show in case they get lost
- Dress them in bright clothing in case you get separated
- A change of clothes in case of accidents
- Refillable water bottle and snacks to prevent dehydration
Prescott also recommends seniors with memory issues carry a copy of their driver’s license, rather than the original, in their own wallet along with a note stating they have memory issues and the contact number for the family members they are traveling with, just in case they get confused or lost while traveling.
Prepping for Air Travel
Before heading to the airport, contact the TSA Cares Program at least 72 hours before leaving. This free service will help you get through security and make things less stressful for you and your parents. After security, your airline can help with boarding the plane. Don’t forget to give yourself extra time at the airport to help things run smoothly.
Tips and Tricks to Enjoy Your Vacation Together
Once you’ve reached your destination and want to make the most of your vacation together, here are a few helpful tips and tricks.
- Schedule your meals with your parents and eat a healthy diet.
- Ensure your parents take their medications on time and in the correct dose.
- Plan out exercise time.
- Don’t overpack your schedule so much that you don’t leave time for rest.
It’s important to set expectations that activities may be different with an aging loved one. Depending on the individual, they may not be prepared to visit with family and friends, or they may feel overwhelmed with activities. Always remain patient and loving and realize that things might not always go according to plan.
If you are considering hiring help once you reach your destination, Prescott recommends doing your research on local respite or caregiving companies, and scheduling services 30-90 days in advanced.
Reach Out Today
Blue Water Homecare provides homecare, dementia care, Parkinson’s and hospice services. Knowing when it’s the right time to ask for help with your aging loved one can be challenging. All our services are guided by the fundamental mission to ensure that your loved one is well cared for and comfortable at home.