Tips on Vacationing with Elderly Parents

Often an adult child would like to take their senior parents on a vacation to make up for all their parents’ missed out on in their younger years.  They were busy raising a family and earning a living so they didn’t have time or money for vacations and other luxuries.  Planning a vacation with your elderly parents is an admirable idea, but you must take several things into consideration, things that you don’t have to necessarily think about for your own trip.

Plan Ahead

You will need to figure out where you will stay and places you want to visit along with transportation.  While you would do those things anyway, you now need to think about people who are older and may tire out sooner.  You also have to consider their physical ability when making plans.  Can they climb stairs or walk long distances?  How difficult is it for them to get in and out of cars or off buses?

Hotels

Ask for a room that is away from traffic and noise.  Many seniors like to take an afternoon nap and the noise can disturb them.  Make sure there is handicap parking or easy access for them to get in and out of their room or the building.  While some countries are required to have that in all public areas, other countries do not have those laws.

Travel

If you will be flying, allow more time for them to move around the airport.  For trips where you will be driving, you will want to figure out more stops to prevent stiff muscles.  You may also need to stop earlier for the night if it is more than one day’s travel.

Transportation

You will need to choose a rental car big enough to allow for comfortable seating and plenty of leg room.  If you use public transportation, consider how it will affect the person’s mobility.  Will they be able to walk to the metro or bus station and stand while they wait for the bus?  Will they be able to get on and off the bus or train? 

Attractions

Not all attractions provide elevators or wheelchair accessibility, especially historic buildings.  You will want to research the places you want to visit or call ahead.  Keep in mind that seniors will tire more easily than you will and may need a break in between.  This would be the ideal time for them to take a nap in their hotel room while you go sightseeing or enjoy an afternoon spa treatment.

Prepare For the Trip

Plan how you will pack for your vacation.  If your parents are unable to carry their own bags, you will need a cart or to add the luggage onto yours.  Think about the things they will need during the trip.  Medicine and other health-related supplies need to be packed; you will have to find out what items are allowed with carry-on luggage.

You will also need to help your family member remember what to take.  If they have homecare services, the caregiver can assist you by helping them to pack what is needed.  Make sure you provide a list so they know what to include.  Besides the prescription medicine that they need, you will want to add antacids, vitamins, and other over-the-counter medication that they may require.  Traveling and eating unfamiliar food can cause seniors to experience nausea or diarrhea, so be prepared for that.

Seniors often do not eat heavy meals; instead they eat several smaller meals throughout the day.  You will want to plan for this by having a quick snack ready when you are traveling or stopping at cafes or stores.

If your family member has a chronic health condition, make sure to check with the doctor before you take them on a trip.  Once the doctor clears them for traveling, you are ready to begin your adventure.  After you have everything taken care of, you can enjoy this quality time spent with your family.

When your loved one needs extra assistance, the caregivers at Carefect Homecare Services can help while allowing your senior family members to stay in the comfort of their own home.  Our staff can assist with personal care and housekeeping, as well as running errands and respite care.  When you plan a vacation with your senior loved ones, we can help you prepare by assisting them with packing.  Once they return from the trip, our caregivers will enjoy hearing the stories to allow them to relive the experience.  We provide quality care for your senior loved ones so that you can spend more enjoyable time with them.

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