High-travel season and summer holidays are upon us, a time when many of us take a well-earned break from the everyday grind. When you are a caregiver for senior citizens, you must, of course, take into account their needs and extent of mobility. There may also come a time when it is not feasible for this person to travel. If that is the case, remember that Spring Hill offers respite and private home care services for seniors. If you plan ahead and make the proper preparations, you will find that traveling with a senior citizen does not have to be as stressful as you fear. Here are a few helpful tips to make it easier for you.
Stress-Free Traveling with Senior Citizens
The key to traveling with elderly loved ones is preparation. Anticipate stresses and roadblocks and plan ahead for how you may handle them. Use these preparation tips before your next trip:
- Get the green light from the doctor. Travel can be physically taxing and stressful. Confirm with your loved one’s doctor that undertaking this travel won’t be too much for them to handle and what to do if any of their medical conditions flare up.
- Make sure they have their medication. There are few things worse than running out of medication when you are away from home. Ensure that you have enough to last the duration of the trip plus two or three days. This way, you don’t have to worry if a pill is lost or dropped. Bring a copy of their prescription and make sure they have their medical alert bracelet or card.
- Pack what they need for the travel itself. If your travel requires hours of sitting in an airplane, train, or car, purchase supportive stockings. This helps prevent clots and numbness. Make sure your loved one is wearing clothes that can be layered, since many seniors are sensitive to temperature changes. Bring sun protection – sunscreen, hat, sunglasses – and make sure you have plenty of snacks and water.
- Keep their routines. Seniors can get anxious or stressed out when their routines are disrupted – particularly people who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia. Plan your activities so that mealtimes, bedtime, and especially medication times are consistent with their daily schedule at home.
- Don’t overdo it. Make sure you don’t pack too many activities into a day, and budget lots of time for breaks. There may be lots to do and see, but remember that your loved one may get tired easily. Get to the airport or station earlier than you normally would so that there’s no rush. If traveling by car, plan for plenty of stops – for meals, bathroom breaks, and even just to stretch the legs.
Take Advantage of Dedicated Respite Care Services
Travel is good for the soul, but sometimes, your elderly loved one will not be healthy enough to travel. In cases like this, you can keep your peace of mind knowing that Spring Hills works with many providers of respite care and home care services so that you can ensure your loved one receives the attention they need so that you can restfully take your well-deserved vacation.