Tips to Stress-Free Traveling with a Senior

At some point in almost every adult’s life, there will be a circumstance where you will need to assist a senior with their travels. It may be for a family reunion, graduation, wedding, or vacation. Regardless, there are essential tips you need to consider before your next trip.

Medical and Safety

The first thing you need to think about is the medical and safety preparations you will have to make before planning their trip. You might have to get travel clearance from their doctor to ensure they are good to travel. Also, make sure their doctor provides you with a statement that showcases the details of their medical conditions. Essential factors such as pacemakers, hip or knee implants, pins, and metal plates can all set off alarms at security checkpoints and could significantly delay you in your travels. Therefore, you must have the proper medical documentation.

Once you have all the proper documentation for your senior to be able to travel, make sure you also get travel insurance with medical coverage. If there are pre-existing conditions, it may be difficult to obtain travel insurance. So, you need to consult with their doctor beforehand. You also need to make sure you’re prepared for medical emergencies. Being prepared means, you should have their doctor write prescriptions if the medications get lost, stolen, or if there is an unforeseen delay.  Also, before you make the trip, research where the local hospitals are, especially if you’re in a country where English is not the primary language.

Reasons Why Travel Insurance is Important

  • Senior citizens are more likely to experience medical injury accidents or illnesses. 
  • Seniors are more likely to require medical or evaluation
  • Medicare will not cover you outside the United States
  • Seniors are generally more vulnerable to muggings or theft
  • If their medical insurance covers things that their regular insurance doesn’t

Location is Key

If you have the opportunity to select travel destinations, make sure it’s senior or elderly-friendly. Choose a destination that is relatively flat terrain and doesn’t require them to be climbing hills, stairs, slippery ground, or has poor footing. It’s also important to find extra time within your schedule. This way, you won’t feel rushed when you’re doing your activities on your vacation. This can include things like boarding a plane, going out to eat, sightseeing, or visiting attractions. These will all require you take a little more time when you’re traveling with a senior. You should also avoid very loud locations where over-whelming noise can bother them or hinder their ability to communicate with you.

Other Important Tips

Make sure to have all emergency contact numbers on hand like doctors, other friends, or relatives that may be more familiar with their medical issues. Keep them along with their medications in a carry-on suitcase or bag. Also, be sure to pack light that way, you can pay more attention to your senior instead of worrying about your luggage. If your senior or loved one has dementia or has memory loss, try to make their accommodations feel like home. Choose a place to stay that looks and feels more like what they are accustomed to. Avoid long elevator rides and walking down long windy corridors that could possibly confuse them. Also, bring some small things from home that reminds them of home and makes them feel comfortable.