Travel has no age limits. An 80+ can still enjoy the trip to mountains, beaches or go for a yoga outing, but self-care and an attendant by the side are few requisites. Pandemic restrictions have affected people’s movement. Statistics show that people in their 60s or 70s are at higher risk from COVID-19 illness, making elderly travel sensitive and risky.
However, with travel restrictions easing out, your grandparents or parents can look forward to fulfilling their travel goals. Social distancing practice is compulsory to reduce the COVID-19 risk. But with summers nearing, a holiday trip to visit family and friends is tempting. Here are some guidelines to make travel for the seniors smooth and hassle-free.
1. Schedule a doctor’s appointment pre-trip
Before booking tickets for your elderly parent, get their complete health check-up. Inform the consultant physician of the travel and stay duration, the climate topographies, past medical history, and any crucial information to help the practitioner advise you on the right vaccinations and medication. Getting a medical fitness certificate to travel will relax your mental worries and assure the senior travelers.
2. Buy mobility aids for elderly people
Aging affects elderly mobility because of weak muscles and joints. Most parents and grandparents find it difficult to walk a few miles, climb stairs, or get into elevators. Cross-country travel makes it even more difficult to withstand the stress of physical movement. Carry a portable electric wheelchair to explore nature’s wonders in a foreign locale. Be open to the idea of a wheelchair lift. It helps overcome the movement barrier in hospitals and high-value places in your trip abroad.
3. Purchase or renew travel insurance for seniors
Outstation travel is stimulating, but the fear of falling and suffering from an injury sends goosebumps. Get the travel insurance papers of the elderly in order ahead of the city or country travel. Read senior citizen travel policy details and perks. Explore insurance plans for frequent flyers, know about overseas healthcare treatment costs, passport loss, valuables’ burglary, and other mandatory information.
4. Choose best luggage options
Bags are essential items in luggage packing. Portable luggage is an enormous relief for aged travelers. While a shoulder backpack is easy to manage and comfortable for hiking trips, wheeled luggage is a convenient option to explore. Make wheeled suitcases, duffel bags, and backpacks your first luggage preference to avoid muscle strain and discomfort to elderly travelers. Filter the luggage items based on the trip length, season, and budget. Pack smartly and light to minimize handling problems. Avoid carrying extra luggage to risk paying additional charges.
5. Take medicines along to handle health emergencies
Senior citizens are prone to travel-related ailments. Low immunity, diabetes, hypertension, fear of the unknown is common in aging people. Further, a hiking expedition can cause mountain sickness. Carry a medicine kit with plenty of emergency medicines, disposable tissues, and pocket-friendly medical devices for temperature and pulse rate. Put gauze pieces, Band-Aids, bandages, cotton, disinfectants, and common medication for cold, fever, cough in the medical box. Take morning sickness antacids, antihistamines for allergy prevention, vitamin supplements, and hearing and visual aids for seniors who have trouble hearing and seeing things. Carry prescription notes and physician recommendations to help you buy them when you run out of stock.
6. Get the help of a professional caregiver for senior citizen handling
Not all seniors waiting for their flight take-off are in the pink of health. Most of them have serious health issues like paralysis and dementia. Travelling is challenging for them. Having a caregiver on board is a welcome hand for the aged seniors. With the help of a caregiver, bathroom breaks, water, refreshments, and the aging people’s various needs are easy to meet in-trip. It is mentally relaxing too and helps boost the trip enjoyment.
7. Do your utmost to follow a schedule
Initial mismanagement may happen when travel is on the cards. Scheduling and time management is the key for a trip involving seniors to go well. Carry out routine tasks in a streamlined way. Set alarms to remind the elderly member of their medication. Arrange for transportation so that they can have a peaceful sleep ahead of the travel. This will keep your loved ones in a good mood and mentally relax them before they start the journey.
Before starting on a cross-country trip with your elderly parents, make an itemized packing list. Find sturdy and robust luggage options that are easy to carry and will not give you pain. Plan mobility devices for your elderly travelers – a commode chair to combat knee sprains and joint pains, or a wheelchair to support long-distance travel.
Test the travel risk after keeping in mind the person’s age and health and then make suitable travel plans. Work to make it a memorable one, and the elderly will look forward to more travel outings.