Before you know it, spring weather will be here, and for many of us, it will be a chance to get out of our homes, our neighborhoods, and our towns and do some traveling.
If you’ve got a trip in your future, and you’ll be traveling with a senior, there are some considerations to make that can mean a safer and more enjoyable time, particularly if you’ll be traveling with a disabled senior or someone who is compromised in any way.
Check out the tips below to keep a vacation with your senior safe and enjoyable.
Be Inclusive in Your Choices
Unfortunately, our culture is not one that tends to encourage multigenerational experiences or lifestyles, so seniors often feel left out or alone. If you’ve decided to include a senior loved one or friend in your travel plans, try to make it a point to include them in your itinerary decisions.
It might very well be that your companion has travel experience that will be useful. They may have previously been to an area you want to visit; perhaps they can recommend sites to see or opportunities to take advantage of. If you plan on being in an area that you know your senior has a special interest in, ask them what interests them about it and what they would like to do while there.
Choose the Right Way to Travel
Make sure that wherever you’re going, you decide on the appropriate mode of travel to get there. Air travel is quick but can be uncomfortable for even the youngest vacationers.
Seniors very often have trouble adjusting to cabin pressure, recirculated air, and cramped quarters. Cars and trains are a good bet because they allow for easy access and more control, and on long trips, trains offer more legroom and opportunities to move about.
Plus, they can be an exceptionally enjoyable way to travel, as they are conducive to having conversations and taking in the geography. The sensitive subject of access to toilets should be considered.
Additionally, make sure that wherever you’re traveling, there’s a good selection of public transportation. Taxis are always a good bet because they’re convenient and easier for physically challenged seniors to access; buses are also a smart and affordable way to get from one place to the next, but site-seeing models can be problematic because they’re often open to the elements; subways can be overwhelming and intimidating and should be avoided, especially if you are traveling with a senior adjusting to cognitive changes.
Take Advantage of Discounts
Senior citizen discounts are one of the best perks of getting older, so make sure to use them! Thousands of venues, restaurants, parks, and other attractions offer discounts to visitors of a certain age, usually 65 or older, but very often younger.
Check with AARP for rates on hotels and attractions in the area you plan to visit and take advantage of the savings these discounts can mean.
Pack Snacks, Stay Hydrated, and Remember Medications
Traveling can be exciting and enjoyable — so much so that one can forget to pay attention to the basics, like eating and drinking!
Seniors, in particular, can become weak or dehydrated as a result of going too long, even if briefly, without food or water. The best way to combat that is by having plenty of snacks and water on hand while taking in the sites. Keep a variety of easy-to-eat choices and be mindful of any food allergies or medicinal interactions.
On that note, be sure to pack all necessary medications your senior travel companion will need on a regular basis. And again, particularly with increased hydration, make sure access to toilets is convenient.
Keep It Small and Give Your Active Senior Room to Explore
When traveling with a senior, particularly one who may be living with dementia, it’s best to keep groups small in order to minimize activity and confusion.
Conversely, if you’re not traveling with a disabled senior and your senior is capable of being on their own, make sure to give them time to explore by themselves, should they want that. It can also mean time for you to enjoy your vacation in ways that reflect your own interests without having to worry about anyone else in your group.
Reach out to Senior Care Authority today to find out more about traveling with a senior loved one.