Exploration is a natural instinct that many adults crave. Just because you have an older loved one residing in independent senior living, it does not mean they have given up their thirst for adventure! In fact, the senior aged population is traveling now more than ever! This means that planning a family trip should include the whole family, not just your children!
If you are planning on traveling with senior, it is essential to gain approval from your loved one’s primary care physician. After receiving the green light for travel, take this opportunity to confirm with your doctor that your loved one has all their vaccinations and shots up to date. It is also important to coordinate your trip’s timeframe with medication orders and ask for additional prescriptions if necessary. After receiving approval, vaccinations, and keeping all medications in mind, you can start the planning process.
Regardless of the destination, a senior that lives in independent living community is used to having reigns on freedom and control. Even if your entire travel team is aware of their limits, it is still important to remember activity restrictions when planning your destination. There needs to be a certain level of accessibility available to your older loved one to ensure their safety and enjoyment. Things that need to be considered include:
- The location of the nearest hospital in case of emergency (If out of the U.S., and you are not fluent in the local language, be sure English-speaking doctors are available)
- Be sure planned activities don’t require intense physical ability
- Wheelchair or walker accessibility
- If applicable, oxygen-tank restrictions
If you are aware of your travel medium’s rules and restrictions it can ease the stress of traveling with a senior. Planning senior-friendly accessibility is essential, but it is also important to think of traveling comforts for your older loved one as well.
To ensure your older loved one’s travels are comfortable, there are amenities that certain companies offer. Some airlines offer assistance from the airport entrance to the gate with guidance on the plane and vice versa. Benches or guaranteed seating along trips is also very helpful for older loved ones to alleviate discomfort. It may not be a good idea to plan a walk through a National Park without checking to see if there are benches along the trail or bringing camping chairs to rest along the way. Other senior-friendly comforts can include a blanket or jacket, a mini-fan, snacks, water bottles, and a neck pillow. Helping your loved ones have a comfortable trip, will help alleviate the stress surrounding traveling.
Traveling with an older loved one who regularly resides at an independent senior living community, does not have to be impossible nor difficult. It is beneficial for everyone to see new sights and experience cultural differences. If you are planning on traveling with a senior just ensure you receive the proper medical clearances before planning your trip. Once your loved one has been approved for travel ensure there is essential access to medical needs and travel comforts. With these items in mind, you and your entire family can create travel memories together.
If you have an older loved one who would benefit from living in luxury with like-minded individuals, schedule a visit at your nearest community today!