Traveling with your senior loved one during the hectic holiday season can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to help make things as smooth as possible. Following Senior Living Management’s simple guide to traveling with a senior will help you sit back, relax, and enjoy your loved one’s presence.
Communication is Key
The first and most important step to traveling successfully with your senior loved one is to maintain communication the whole time, from the planning process to arriving at your hotel or someone’s home. As the trip progresses, be sure to check in with your loved one regularly to make sure their needs are being met. Do they need a break? Are they hungry? Are they feeling heard? By addressing any of these issues soon after they arise, you can make sure you loved one has the best time possible.
Get a Doctor’s OK
It’s important that your loved one has everything they need to feel healthy and able before heading out. Depending on your loved one’s medical conditions or history, you may want to visit their doctor with them to make sure they are cleared to travel and that you’re aware of any issues that could come up. Ask their doctor for a printed list of all their medications and assistive devices and help your loved one make sure each is packed for travel.
Offer Your Loved One Peace of Mind
Another aspect of travel that can cause stress for a senior loved one is worry about the security of their home and belongings. Everyone experiences some amount of worry when leaving home for an extended trip, and for seniors, this concern can feel overwhelming. Hire a professional or a highly trusted friend or relative to take care of your loved one’s mail, plants, and pets, and to make sure their doors and windows are locked securely. Have your loved meet this person and show them what needs to be done, or be there when you do, so your loved one can feel confident their home and belongings will be in good hands.
Practice Patience & Respond with Flexibility
The most important thing you can do to make sure your trip goes smoothly is to be patient – take a deep breath when things arise that trigger you – and respond in a flexible manner, focusing on what your loved one needs for everyone to have a good trip. Remember, travel can be hard on everyone. Your loved one’s health, communication, and memory may not be the same as they once were, making some days better than others. But by planning ahead and responding to any issues that arise with patience and flexibility, you can increase the likelihood of everyone enjoying their time together. And that’s what the holidays are really about.
For more tips on traveling with your senior, check out the Senior Living Management blog.