Tips for Summer Travel with Elderly Loved Ones

May 23, 2022

While our senior loved ones want to explore and participate in family travels, it can cause some anxiety on both the senior and the caregiver. Extra planning and good communication can help ease some of the stress of traveling with elderly loved ones. Here are some tips to make the traveling easier:

1. Make sure your elderly loved one actually wants to go. Show the respect of asking whether they want to be included. Give them details such as length of time in a car or airplane, type of accommodations and type of activities and food. Respect the decision.

2. Pack more than you anticipate needing. While packing light may work for the young and flexible, it can leave an elderly person without enough clean clothes or medication. Things happen that are out of your control while traveling such as delays so pack for longer than the planned trip.

3. Pack enough medication and keep it all in your carry-on bags. Bring pharmacy information in case medication gets lost or stolen. Educate yourself on what medication the senior needs and when it should be taken. If changing time zones, keep the medication schedule as close as possible to your home time zone.

4. Plan the trip activities to accommodate the senior’s schedule. Most elderly people need more rest than younger generations. Factor in rest and keep up with snacks and meals.

5. Consider renting mobility equipment if needed. This may be a scooter used throughout the airport, theme parks or other places where you need to walk long distances. Reserve these in advance to ensure they do not run out.

6. Have everyone on a “sitter” schedule. Let all the travel companions take shifts to “sit” with the elderly loved one so that all of the burden does not fall on one caregiver. This allows everyone to enjoy freedom while also taking some shifts of responsibility.

7. Be careful not to overbook. Allow plenty of time between activities so no one feels rushed and to prevent the senior from feeling like a burden.

8. Plan ahead for medical emergencies. Bring the senior’s Emergency Medical Packet with you in your carry-on bag. This packet should include power of attorney documents, medication list, proper identification and primary care physician contact info.

9. For seniors suffering from incontinence, even more planning may be necessary. When traveling by car, stop frequently for bathroom breaks. When traveling by plane, try to secure the senior an aisle seat. Make sure the senior dresses comfortably and wears a protective pad.

Most importantly, enjoy yourselves. Make memories, take pictures and laugh a lot. Summer travel can be exciting and filled with adventure. For information on legal protections for your senior loved one, contact the elder law attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com.

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