Going on trips is a great way for families to bond and make wonderful memories together. Rounding the family up for a vacation can already be stressful on its own. If you have aging parents or relatives, it can seem a bit more challenging to plan vacations.
By having a little more patience and allotting some more wiggle room, you’ll find that it won’t be that hard to have your senior loved one along for your trip. You just have to prepare better and also remember to take things slow to ensure their safety and comfort. Who says they can’t come along for the ride just because they’re getting old?
In order to ensure your parents’ security and strength throughout the trip, you need to be patient and careful when getting everything ready. Now that summer’s approaching, it’s best to start preparing for vacations where you can include your senior loved ones.
To help make things easier for you, here are five tips to help you make the most out of a trip with your aging parents or relatives.
Ensure that they’re fit to travel
Before planning the trip, you need to make sure that your senior loved ones can handle sitting in transport for hours, walking in hot or cold temperatures, and eating unfamiliar food, if ever. Check with their doctor and ask for medication or prescriptions that you will need to bring just in case.
Take note of the environmental conditions in your destination as well. Depending on the season during your trip, you might have to look out for pollen that can trigger allergies or asthma. You also have to look out for pollution problems. Be aware of your senior loved one’s allergies and other mental conditions. As long as their doctor allows them to go on this trip, you’re good.
You wouldn’t want to rush anything when you’re traveling with your senior loved ones. Of course, you want to make the most out of your trip. But you need to remember that you have to put their comfort first. Don’t pack a lot of activities in one day, and make sure there are plenty of stops for your senior relative to rest.
When traveling with an aging loved one, you have to prioritize quality over quantity. This will mean fewer destinations, but it also means spending more time in each one. Taking it slowly might be a challenge for you, but you’ll be able to stop and admire these places and appreciate them more.
Prepare for emergencies
If your senior loved one has special needs, you need to get ready in case an emergency comes up. Take note of hospitals and clinics, and even police stations in the area you are visiting and know their contact numbers. When arriving at a destination, look out for toilets and help your companion when they need to go.
If your senior loved one is already forgetful, it can also help if you keep their important documents for them. If you think adult diapers will be handy, pack them as well. You can also give them an identification card with your name, contact number, and accommodation details for them to carry around in case you get separated.
Prepare your budget
Shoestring travel is not possible when you’re traveling with a senior loved one. Make sure you have enough allocation for your trip with your aging parent or relative. You can start by buying travel insurance – it’s a small investment guaranteed to make things easier in case of emergencies. Get ready for sudden expenses like new clothes or shoes if your parents can’t handle the weather.
Of course, you also need to choose more comfortable accommodation and transportation options for you and your senior loved ones. If they have mobility aids, look for one that has good accessibility for that. Spending a little more for their comfort and safety will be worth it.
Don’t be patronizing
It might be easy to become overprotective of your parents or relatives when traveling with them. You might end up restricting them from fully enjoying their vacation. The best way to go about this is to keep them within sight, but also let them be. Allow them to explore things on their own, but also look out for them within a good distance.
Treat them with respect and maintain your cool when touring with them. They might do things that are not allowed in some places, so just explain things to them calmly. Be patient when they do or say things and don’t lose your cool. A vacation with your senior loved ones can be wonderfully enjoyable if you choose it to be – your attitude about it will have a lot to do with it, too.