It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for family get-togethers! With many families separated by geographic distance, or simply just resulting from the busyness of life, all of us look forward to the chance to reconnect with close friends and family during the holiday season. And for aging parents, the opportunity to spend quality time with family is particularly valuable.
Yet as rewarding as family time is, the logistics of getting together are sometimes complicated. If your family’s matriarch or patriarch is going to be traveling to participate in family celebrations this holiday season, these stress-free travel tips and strategies can make the journey easier and more comfortable for all:
- Meet Mobility Needs. No matter if a senior loved one requires a walker or wheelchair on a normal day or not, it’s a wise idea to make arrangements to have mobility assistance available. Review the layout of the airport, train or bus station, hotel, etc. and look to be certain that a wheelchair may be rented if needed.
- Confirm Insurance Coverage. Review the senior’s insurance plan to make sure that any emergency needs will be covered. For instance, if traveling internationally, Medicare coverage won’t be available. Look into travel insurance, and check the U.S. Department of State’s website for assistance with international insurance options.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help. Specialized services are available for older adults as well as others with specific needs, including preboarding on flights, help with handling baggage, accessibility accommodations at hotels – even such details as waterproof bed coverings for those who are incontinent. Never hesitate to ask for what you will need to help the senior to be as comfortable as possible.
- Utilize Senior Discounts. Numerous discounts are available to older adults, through AARP as well as through hotels, restaurants, major airlines, cruises, etc. A little preplanning can make certain you are able to make use of all special discounts for which the senior is entitled.
- Plan for Plenty of Downtime. While you may be inclined to maximize time with family by enjoying as many sights as you possibly can, the truth is, traveling is fatiguing, and it’s important to incorporate lots of time for the senior to simply relax. And do not forget to include bathroom and meal/snack breaks – every two hours is ideal.
Above all, relish each moment of your time together with family this holiday season. Capture the memories through pictures, videos, and journaling, to allow your older family member to relive the experiences upon going back home.
You may even want to think about engaging the services of the Enhanced Home Care team, one of the top-rated home health agencies near Kansas City, MO, to provide transportation accompaniment. Our knowledgeable, fully trained and qualified caregivers can ensure the senior’s needs are fully met throughout your family’s time together, giving everyone a more relaxed and enjoyable experience. Contact us at 913-327-0000 for additional information about our expert in-home care in Kansas City and the surrounding areas!