4 Tips for Smooth Holiday Travel with an Aging Loved One
If you’re traveling l with an aging loved one this holiday season, you need to plan ahead. Preparing for plane trips and long car rides is more complicated when medical conditions, mobility issues, and dementia are concerns, but a strategic approach can ensure a pleasant trip.
1. Give Yourself a Time Buffer
You may be able to sprint from one end of the airport to the other to catch a flight with only a few minutes of layover time, but aging relatives often don’t have quite the same agility.
Book flights and choose layover periods with your loved one’s level of mobility in mind. Wheelchairs, walkers and other aids take time to set up and maneuver, and TSA screenings may be longer if you have extra items to check or declare.
Additionally, alert airport staff in advance to any special concerns or needs your loved one has so that both check-in and boarding go smoothly.
2. Make Prior Arrangements for Travel Help
Boarding assistance and special seating should be arranged beforehand when flying with an aging loved one.
If you’re traveling by car, schedule rest stops at appropriate intervals. Look for hotels with accessibility features for loved ones with limited mobility, and check with staff to ensure the rooms you’re booking are easy to navigate.
3. Pack Less, But Remember the Essentials
Get identification, passports, tickets and itinerary information in order well before leaving for the airport. Gather your loved one’s medical documentation, including insurance cards and medication schedules, and make sure pills he or she will need during the trip are packed in your carry-on bags.
4. Consider Medical Needs and Rules
You don’t generally have to notify the TSA of any medications in your loved one’s luggage unless they’re liquids. These need to be declared at the time of screening and may be subject to closer inspection.
Canes, walkers, and wheelchairs must also go through the screening process. In addition to considering these requirements when planning your trip, don’t forget to locate the nearest medical facilities in each destination where you’ll be staying over the holidays to give your loved one fast access to care if need be.
Prepare for potential challenges this holiday travel season by planning with your loved one’s needs in mind. You’ll both enjoy a more relaxing trip and return home refreshed and energized for the coming year.
If you require additional assistance traveling with your loved one this holiday season, Caring Home Care can help! Our certified caregivers can accompany your loved one and help them settle in once you reach your destination. Learn more about our caregivers today!