If you’re heading off on a multigenerational family trip this summer, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you hit the road or take to the skies. Older relatives often have unique needs and concerns when it comes to travel. Be sure to take the following precautionary measures so your trip goes smoothly.
Begin planning your vacation a few months in advance. Doing this will not only save you money on travel fare, but will also ensure any unnecessary issues or delays are avoided. Scout various airlines to find the flights with the shortest travel times and most straightforward routes.
If your family is traveling by car, plot out the quickest and least stressful routes. Research rush hour times in cities you’ll be traveling through so you can work around them. If you’re traveling through areas with notoriously unpredictable weather, make necessary arrangements for emergencies.1
Having such a meticulous plan may bring peace of mind to an older family member who may otherwise fear traveling because of medical concerns or issues with incontinence.
Pack With Care
According to a 2017 Chicago Tribune article, researchers estimate that 25 percent of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 take at least five prescription drugs to treat chronic conditions. That number jumps to nearly 46 percent for those between 70 and 79. Odds are, your older family member is also on prescription medication.
When helping them pack for a long trip, ensure their prescriptions are up to date and that they will have more than enough doses to get them through the trip.2 Label the medications with dosages and times to avoid potentially harmful dosage lapses.
Consider the Accessibility
We shouldn’t assume that all older people are unable to keep up with their younger counterparts, but we also need to take their needs into consideration when traveling. Travel experts recommend choosing a destination that has easy access to:
- Public transportation
- Doctors, if needed
They also recommend choosing a walkable destination where attractions are close together. If your relative is in a wheelchair, ensure you or another family member will be able to wheel them around easily.3
Review Your Medical Insurance
Many people ignore add-ons when traveling and don’t purchase travel insurance. Travel experts agree that the single most important thing seniors should consider before traveling – especially internationally – is whether their existing health insurance covers them.
Many people don’t realize that Medicare alone won’t cover patients when they travel outside the United States and sometimes doesn’t cover patients outside of their home network. It’s important to check a list of recommended medical providers before you leave. Travel insurance is an easy and affordable way to get medical coverage when your existing plan doesn’t offer it.
Whether you’re younger or older, traveling can be exhausting. When traveling with seniors, it is particularly important that you schedule time for relaxation after reaching your destination. Traveling long distances is especially taxing on the body, so experts recommend scheduling twice the normal amount of downtime to allow seniors to recuperate.
While sightseeing with seniors, you will need to schedule plenty of time to stop for bathroom breaks – about one break every two hours.4
Choose a Destination That’s Fun for All Ages
Children will typically want to go somewhere with tons of activities for vacation, while seniors may want to go somewhere a little slower paced and relaxing. When traveling with a multigenerational group, it is important to find balance – something for everyone.
This type of arrangement will allow younger family members to explore the more active areas and give grandparents a chance to retire to quieter ones when they need a break.
Care at A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab in Atlanta, GA
When you’re unable to act as a caregiver, you can trust A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab to care for your senior family member. We provide varying levels of care, from short-term respite and recovery from illness care to long-term care and assistance with activities of daily living.
Contact us online today or by calling 877-918-6413 for more information.