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How to Travel Safely with Older Adults

How to Travel Safely with Older Adults

How to Travel Safely with Older Adults

Extra free time and years of saving often inspire seniors to travel. Whether older people travel around town or to a new country, the opportunities to see new places and meet new friends are beneficial for social and emotional health. Here’s how caregivers can travel safely with elderly loved ones.

Retired seniors may have waited their entire working lives to travel. The health benefits of travel are numerous. Heart disease is 32 percent less likely to cause death in men who take vacations. Women who travel experience less depression and stress.

Older adults who are bitten by the travel bug move about physically, strolling through the vendor-lined streets in a brand-new city or country. Since the opportunity to travel keeps them physically active, seniors experience reduced rates of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

Seniors who travel benefit mentally, too. Their brains get a workout as they plan itineraries, explore cultural museums, navigate new city streets, and see unusual sights. Older adults meet new people, making friends during their sojourns. They also practice their foreign language skills.

Aging people are advised to travel as much as possible while they are still healthy. Some older adults might find it more enjoyable to travel with friends or family. When they travel with others, it’s important to find ways to travel safely to enhance the senior’s well-being.

1. Follow Covid-19 Guidelines

Due to a naturally lowered immune system, older people are more vulnerable to the consequences of infections, like Covid-19. People over age 50 must wear a mask at the airport, at the gate, and for the extended duration of the trip in order to protect themselves against a Covid-19 infection.

Before traveling, seniors are urged to check with their primary doctor to make sure all immunizations are up-to-date. Get a flu shot if traveling around flu season. Older adults must also ensure they receive the Covid-19 booster to ensure they have a layer of protection against a coronavirus infection.

2. Pack Prescriptions

Nine out of 10 seniors take prescription medications. Pack all medicines in a carry-on bag rather than inside luggage that will be checked-in to prevent loss if the airline loses the luggage. Check the TSA rules prior to packing liquids, syringes, or pumps to ensure they are properly packed.

Also prepare a list of all current medications and take them along on the trip. Include in the list the contact information of doctors and the location of the nearest pharmacy at the destination, one that is covered by the senior’s health insurance or Medicare.

3. Pack Important Documents

Documents can get lost during the hustle and bustle of traveling to new areas, so older travelers are advised to make copies of their driver’s license, passport, and Medicare card before departing. Replacements are easier to obtain back home when copies are available.

4. Choose Accessible Lodging

Seniors who use a wheelchair should book a hotel with wheelchair accessible elevators. Mobile older adults should request a room on the first floor of the hotel. Some historical hotels may not be updated, which can increase the risk of falls on stairs or paths, so select lodging that meets mobility needs.

5. Carry Emergency Contact Info

Keep an emergency contact list on hand at all times while out and about in the foreign destination. If an emergency, such as a fall or injury, occurs, people offering assistance can locate the health provider back home. Carrying identification is equally important.

6. Prevent Theft

Older travelers can dress to avoid being pickpocketed. Choose travel clothes designed specifically to be pickpocket-proof: pants and jackets with deep inside zippers or pockets that are magnetically sealed. Utilize the hotel safe to store jewelry, passports, and extra cash.

7. Stay Healthy on the Flight

Long flights mean sitting for prolonged periods. Older people, especially those at high risk for blood clots, are advised to walk up and down the aisle. Seniors at high risk for blood clots are those who have been recently hospitalized, undergone surgery, or have a family history of blood clots.

Flying at high altitudes also poses as a health risk. The airplane cabin may have less humidity, which can leave vulnerable seniors dehydrated or at risk for respiratory diseases. Throughout the flight, older people are advised to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Seniors might also want to carry a pack of anti-bacterial wipes. Since aging immune systems become less robust, disinfecting the airplane seatbelt, seat, armrest, and tray is recommended. Travel-size anti-bacterial wipes are available in any drug store, so stock up before the trip.

Older travelers who follow the above tips are sure to enjoy safe travels. Family and friends who accompany the senior should ensure that they incorporate the abovementioned suggestions, whether they’re heading on a road trip, a sightseeing tour across town, or a vacation overseas.

Home Health Care Lake Forest Illinois

Traveling with elderly loved ones brings joy in many forms. Families and friends get the chance to spend quality time with the senior, and older people have the opportunity to be physically and mentally active. Families who are unable to provide senior care can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care.

We are a leading home care agency offering programs designed to improve the overall health of seniors. Our professional caregivers support the elderly with the activities of daily living, including personal hygiene tasks, transportation to doctors’ offices, grocery shopping, and companion care.

Care options are varied and range from compassionate Alzheimer’s and dementia care to 24-hour care and respite care. Our non-medical care services are flexible and meet the changing care needs of seniors. Care plans can be adjusted as the older adult’s care needs progress over the years.

Choose Assisting Hands Home Care for your loved one living in Buffalo Grove, IL | Deerfield, IL | Grayslake, IL | Green Oaks, IL | Hawthorn Woods, IL | Highland Park, IL | Lake Forest, ILLake Zurich, ILLincolnshire, IL | Libertyville, IL | Mundelein, IL | Round Lake Beach, IL, Vernon Hills, IL  or the surrounding communities. Families and seniors trust the quality of our comprehensive elder care services. Call us at (224) 268-9068 to schedule a complimentary in-home consult and start the journey toward improved health and wellness.