It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for family get-togethers! With so many families separated by geographic distance, or just because of the busyness of life, we all anticipate the opportunity to reconnect with family members during the holidays. And for aging parents, the chance to spend quality time with family is especially priceless.
Yet as rewarding as family time is, the logistics of getting together are often challenging. If your family’s matriarch or patriarch is going to be traveling to participate in family festivities this season, these holiday season travel tips can make the journey less difficult and significantly more comfortable for everyone:
- Meet Mobility Needs. Whether a senior loved one requires a walker or wheelchair on an average day or not, it’s a good idea to make arrangements to have mobility assistance readily available. Review the layout for the airport, train or bus station, hotel, etc. and make certain a wheelchair can be rented if needed.
- Verify Insurance Coverage. Review the senior’s insurance coverage to ensure any emergency needs will be covered. For example, if traveling abroad, Medicare coverage will not be available. Check into travel insurance options, and check the U.S. Department of State’s website for help with international insurance options.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help. Special assistance is available for seniors as well as others with certain needs, including preboarding on flights, help with handling baggage, accessibility accommodations at hotels – even such details as waterproof bed coverings for those who are incontinent. Do not be reluctant to ask for what you need to help the senior to be as comfortable as possible.
- Utilize Senior Discounts. A plethora of discounts are available to older adults, through AARP as well as through hotels, restaurants, major airlines, cruises, etc. A little preplanning can help you utilize the savings for which the older adult is entitled.
- Allow for Lots of Downtime. Although our initial thought could be to maximize time with family by taking advantage of as many sights as possible, the simple truth is, traveling is draining, and it’s imperative to incorporate plenty of time for the senior loved one just to relax. And don’t forget to add bathroom and meal/snack breaks – every couple of hours is ideal.
Above all, relish each moment of your time together with family this holiday season. Capture the memories through photographs, videos, and journaling, to allow your older loved one to relive the experiences upon going back home.
You might even want to consider engaging the services of the Live Free Home Health Care team to provide transportation accompaniment. Our professional, thoroughly trained and qualified caregivers can make sure the older adult’s needs are completely met throughout your family’s time with each other, giving everyone with a more relaxed and enjoyable experience. Call us at 603-217-0149 to learn more about our top-rated in home care in Franklin and the surrounding communities.