Summer is nearly here, and you know what that means. It’s time to prepare for a vacation! Whether you’re looking to travel to a different state or going abroad, a vacation is a time that’s best shared with everybody in the family, young and old alike.
However, if you’re planning to do some traveling with an elderly relative, you may have some understandable concerns. After all, older people tend to have more complex health needs, and should an emergency arise, chances are, the first aid kit you packed isn’t going to do the job!
So, how do you best prepare for a vacation with an elderly relative? This guide will help you to plan it out.
Consult With Them
Talk to the elderly person to understand their preferences, needs, and any limitations they may have. Whether they’re staying in retirement communities in St. Louis or living by themselves, it’s important to have their input on where you go, what you do, and how long you’ll be away. This will help you plan the vacation accordingly and ensure their comfort is maintained throughout the trip. Discuss the destination, mode of transportation, and activities with any nursing staff or carers who may be involved in their care too.
Choose An Appropriate Destination
You should aim to select a vacation destination that caters to the needs of the elderly person, as well as other people in your family. Look for accommodations like hotels that have senior-friendly amenities like grab bars, elevators, and wheelchair accessibility. While you may not want to think about it, it’s always best to have a plan in place for how to get to the nearest hospital should an accident or emergency occur.
Depending on the elderly person’s mobility, choose a mode of transportation that suits them and helps them to move about a bit; being stationary for hours at a time isn’t good, even for younger people! If you’re flying, inform the airline about any special requirements in advance, such as wheelchair assistance or extra legroom. If you’re planning on driving, ensure that the vehicle is comfortable and has ample space for your belongings and any necessary medical equipment.
Pack Essentials And Medication
Be sure to make a checklist of the elderly person’s essential items, including clothing, medication, and any other medical supplies. While it may seem like overkill, make sure that you have enough medication for the duration of the trip, along with a copy of their prescription, so if they lose their medication in transit, they won’t become unwell.
Plan for Rest And Breaks
You’ll need to recognize that elderly people may require more rest and breaks during the trip, especially if you’re traveling by car or in a motor home. It’s best to allow for frequent breaks during travel, especially if you’re traveling when it’s very warm.
Try to plan activities and any outings you make on the trip with sufficient time for rest and relaxation. Don’t rush them, be flexible and understanding, and always aim to be accommodating to their pace and energy levels.
Featured image by macrovector on Freepik.