It is the most wonderful time of the year – for family get-togethers! With many families separated by geographic distance, or just due to the demands of a busy life, we all look forward to the opportunity to reconnect with family members over the holiday season. And for aging parents, the opportunity to enjoy quality time with family is particularly priceless.
Yet as fulfilling as family time is, the logistics of getting people together can be complex. If your family’s matriarch or patriarch will be traveling to join in family celebrations this holiday season, these travel tips will make the journey a lot easier and much more comfortable for all involved:
- Meet Mobility Needs. Regardless if your loved one needs a walker or wheelchair on a typical day or not, it’s a wise idea to make arrangements to have mobility assistance readily accessible. Review the layout for the airport, train or bus station, hotel, etc. and ensure that a wheelchair may be rented if needed.
- Confirm Insurance Coverage. Review the older adult’s insurance policy to ensure any emergency needs will be covered. For example, if traveling abroad, Medicare coverage will not be available. Investigate travel insurance options, and check the U.S. Department of State’s website for help with international insurance options.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help. Special offerings are available for seniors as well as others with certain needs, such as preboarding on flights, help with handling luggage, accessibility accommodations at hotels – even such details as waterproof bed coverings for those who are incontinent. Do not be reluctant to ask for what you need to help the senior loved one to be as comfortable as possible.
- Make Use of Senior Discounts. Numerous discounts are available to older adults, through AARP as well as through hotels, restaurants, major airlines, cruises, etc. A small amount of preplanning can ensure you’re able to take full advantage of all discounts for which the older adult is entitled.
- Allow for Plenty of Downtime. Although our initial thought can be to maximize time with family by taking in as many sights as you can, truthfully, traveling is draining, and it’s worthwhile to incorporate lots of time for the older adult to simply relax. And do not forget to include bathroom and meal/snack breaks – every couple of hours is ideal.
Most importantly, relish each moment of your time together with family this holiday season. Record the memories through photos, videos, and journaling, to allow your older loved one to relive the experiences after going home.
You might even want to consider engaging the services of the At-Home Care Company care team to provide transportation accompaniment. Our professional, highly trained and experienced caregivers can make sure the older adult’s needs are fully met throughout your family’s time together, giving everyone an even more relaxed and pleasurable experience. Call us at (515) 292-2650 to find out more about our home care assistance in Pleasant Hill and the surrounding areas.