As a family caregiver, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily activities of living. Before you know it, months have slipped by with little quality time spent between you and your aging parent. Taking a trip with them may seem a little daunting, particularly if they have chronic health conditions or limited mobility, but those that do often look back on the experience as one they will cherish for a lifetime. Those that have gone before you have found a few useful tips to make the experience an enjoyable one.
If mobility is an issue for your parent, consider the following:
- Most airlines will allow you to pre-book a wheelchair. They will also meet you at the gate for transfers and arrivals. You will be granted pre-boarding status, making it easy to get settled before the flight takes off. Consider bringing a blanket and water as your parent may get chilled on the plane and staying hydrated during the flight is vital.
- Bring a fold-up cane in case they need support while sightseeing.
- Choose hotels that are in close proximity to the sights you want to see and make sure that they have elevators. Request rooms on the ground floor that are handicap accessible if necessary. Many hotels will provide wheelchairs or set up rentals for you if you let them know ahead of time.
Traveling with an aging parent may require patience, but it also gives you the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the everyday gifts life can bring. Enjoy the flowers blooming and the birds chirping and an afternoon lemonade as you relax after a round of sightseeing. Consider the time of year that you are traveling. The elderly are often more susceptible to weather extremes. Choose a time and a place where the weather will be mild and inviting.
If your parent suffers from a chronic illness such as diabetes or heart disease, make sure your ultimate destination has a hospital within a reasonable distance. When packing, keep their medications in their prescription bottles. Check in with their primary health care provider to see if they have any recommendations for you or any concerns regarding the trip.
Home Care Provider
Your parent will still need help completing the everyday activities of living. If going on a vacation with multiple family members, make sure everyone is clear what their specific duties are in regards to caregiving so that tasks are shared. If you’ve decided to make this a caregiving vacation as well, consider obtaining the services of a home care provider to travel with you and your family. If your parent’s needs are sporadic, consider checking into a company that provides home care providers at your destination.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in East Meadow NY, please contact the caring staff at Family First Home Companions. Serving all of Long Island. Call today: (631) 319-3961
Jennifer has specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease through the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association and the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.She also volunteered her time with the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center of Long Island for 3 years by providing cognitive stimulation to an Alzheimer’s patient group.
Jennifer educates the community about elder care and speaks to caregiver support groups, senior centers, and at professional organizations.Topics include home safety, effective strategies for family caregiving, elder care planning, and awareness about elder abuse.