Individuals often gain a new lease on life when retirement finally arrives. They often want to travel, spend time with family and do the things they never had time for before. There are, however, several precautions the elderly should keep in mind when traveling. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe during your travels:
Preparing for Travel
Talk with the doctor before you go
Find out if whatever destination you're considering is appropriate for your loved ones' condition. Also, since doctors specialize in wellness, they can more readily think of tips to help keep their patients safe. Since they've been treating your loved one and making notes about his or her concerns, the doctor may remind you of things that you didn't consider. If you're traveling out of the country, ask about any vaccinations that might be needed.
Be prepared for medical emergencies
Whatever your destination, find out the location of a hospital, or urgent care center, equipped to meet your loved one's needs and learn the route from your lodging accommodations. Have handy a list of current medications, insurance information, and contact information for the primary care doctor at home.
Young people are great with spur-of-the-moment changes, even when away from home. Their minds can adjust to changes quickly and they don't get easily frustrated. As we age, planning our days out become more important. It helps relieve anxiety when older ones know what to expect out of each day, and to know that they're prepared for it.
Do a lot of research if you plan on going out of the country. Travelling on a plane comes with challenges, not to mention the changes that must be faced when you reach your destination. Climate, food, pace of life, and travel accommodations within the country all need to be considered.
Discuss plans thoroughly
Travelling can be frustrating, whether you're younger or older, but having all the details beforehand can help. Discuss what to expect during travel and after reaching your destination. Provide reassurance that you will be mindful of their needs and limitations.
Stay in contact
Just because you are out of the country—or the city or state—doesn't mean you shouldn't be calling your family and friends. It is a good idea to have a number where people can reach you in an emergency. It might also be a good idea to bring along your phone, and either get roaming turned on so you can make calls outside of the country, or get a local sim card so that you can reach out to family or friends if you are in a bind.
Travel with others
This is a good idea for several reasons. First, it makes traveling more fun when you are with others. Second, you will get much better discounts on tours and accommodation. Third, it is the safest way to travel. Unfortunately, seniors are often targeted by criminals. You can easily avoid being targeted by traveling in a group.
Don't overdo it
Travel, and all of the new and surprising experiences that can come along with it, put significant stress on the body. If this is coupled with time zone change, climate change and dietary change, it can cause problems. To help your body get used to all of the new sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, set some time aside every few hours to take it all in and have a breather. Running around for 2 weeks will wear you down. Instead, come back from your vacation feeling better than when you left, and not worse.
At Caring Senior Service, our expert staff is comprised of extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and trusted professionals who take pride in helping you and your family. For more information about planning a vacation with your loved one, refer to our Caregiver Vacation Checklist.