The holidays are a time when families come together, enjoying the company of family members of all ages. Unless you are traveling to the home of your aging loved ones, you may be facing the prospect of traveling with senior loved ones. Whether they are in assisted living centers in OKC or living at home, the following tips will help make the journey safer and smoother for everyone involved.
First and foremost, it’s important to discuss the travel plans with your loved one’s doctor. Many seniors suffer from health problems that can make certain types of travel too risky. For others, traveling in general can be a danger. Talking to their doctor will give you peace of mind they will be able to safely travel and can answer your questions regarding any specialized care they may need along the way. Be sure they have enough medication to get through the trip without running out.
Traveling is stressful for everyone, but this is especially true for seniors who may be in poor health or who are uncomfortable with the idea of traveling away from home. Therefore, it is best to streamline your travels and minimize the amount of time spent between travel legs and choose the fewest modes of transportation. It’s also important to think about which types of transportation your loved one is comfortable with. If you will be traveling by car or will be on any other mode of transportation, be sure your senior loved one gets plenty of breaks to move around and reduce the risk of blood clots.
It’s important to know what the weather will be like in your destination. Most senior living facilities offer a climate controlled environment to ensure seniors are comfortable and safe. This may not be the case where you are going. For this reason, it’s essential to make sure seniors have appropriate clothing for the weather. Dressing in layers can be beneficial if the temperatures will fluctuate during your stay.
It can be tempting to take a lot of things with you when you’re traveling with seniors. Unfortunately, this ultimately only leads to extra weight and you will likely find you don’t use half of what you’ve chosen to take along. Another important factor in packing is to make sure your loved one has what he or she needs. If you will be flying, pack medications and a few essentials in your carry on. This will ensure seniors have everything they need if the luggage becomes lost or delayed along the way.
In a lot of situations, people just want to get where they are going as quickly as possible. When you’re traveling with seniors, however, this isn’t advised. It’s better to leave plenty of time to get to your destination and take it slow. This will protect your loved one from some of the negative effects of traveling and will allow for plenty of breaks to keep everyone sane.
Crowds can make things even more stressful for seniors and everyone else in your party. This level of stress isn’t healthy for anyone, let alone seniors who may already be suffering from health problems that can be exacerbated by stress. Traveling early and returning home late can keep costs down and ensure everyone has a more enjoyable trip.
If you’re looking for more tips on traveling with senior loved ones, contact us. Our Oklahoma assisted living center can help you prepare for a more enjoyable holiday season, no matter where you’re going.