By Jennifer Gibbons, LCSW, Adult & Senior Care Advisor
Summer is in full swing, and for many this is a wonderful opportunity for vacations and family visits. Unfortunately, stress is a common emotion associated with traveling and bringing an aging loved one along may cause additional worry. Consider these tips to help mom or dad if they are traveling this summer.
- Plan ahead: Will your mom be flying? If she has trouble walking long distances, suggest she consider free wheelchair assistance in the airport. Call the airline to request this assistance with boarding on and off the plane. It helps to call well in advance of the date she will travel.
- Transportation options: If you are driving with your grandmother, determine if your vehicle can accommodate any devices she uses to ambulate, such as a walker, cane, or wheelchair. If not, consider renting a vehicle that can best meet her needs during your trip.
- Pack thoughtfully: Ensure that your father’s medical supplies and prescription medications are accessible during travel times. Include snacks and beverages that he would enjoy during the journey. Remind him to drink regularly to remain hydrated.
- Schedule extra time: To ease the journey for mom and dad, make sure to schedule time for plenty of rest between their arrival and any family activities. Offer your parents a few hours of alone time to nap or read, allowing them to rejuvenate before family fun. It’s important to sprinkle in rest time between lively activities.
- Ensure your home is safe: Has the home or hotel where your dad is staying been accommodated to best meet his needs? Does he use a walker or a cane? It helps to temporarily remove throw rugs that can cause tripping, and use night lights to prevent falls in the dark. Creating spaces to stay on the first floor of your residence can best help loved ones with limited mobility.
- Schedule assistance ahead of time: If your loved one receives personal care services at home, consider asking the agency to provide care during your vacation as well. Many home care agencies have affiliated offices in other cities or could recommend another service provider.
- Choose activities that everyone can enjoy together: If your mother loves to garden, consider visiting an arboretum or park. Bring along toys for your children and a picnic so that everyone can enjoy this time together.
Planning ahead will help you be prepared to support your parent during the summer travel season. For additional strategies, call a Care Advisor who will offer specific ideas, resources, and options to best meet your needs.
Call Care.com for personalized guidance and assistance.
Care.com’s Adult and Senior Care Advisers are experienced, masters-level social workers.
Call us today at (855) 781-1303 and we’ll be happy to help with your senior care challenges.