Happy holidays! A popular song of the season reminds us “there’s no place like home for the holidays.” This familiar refrain also should be a reminder to seniors that traveling there safely should be a high priority.
One of the most important considerations for seniors preparing to travel to visit loved ones during the holidays is to know your physical limitations. Whether you’re driving, flying, taking a train or riding a bus, traveling is taxing on the mind and body, and especially so for seniors. Make sure you get plenty of rest before you travel, and give yourself sufficient time to make all necessary travel connections without stress-inducing hurry.
Here are some other helpful holiday travel tips for older adults:
- Pack light — Leave those heavy suitcases at home. Not only can heavy luggage be more expensive (due to airline baggage fees), but it also can be more difficult to carry around. Carefully consider whether you really need to bring that “must-have” item.
- Avoid traveling alone if possible — For seniors who don’t have a spouse or another family member to travel with them, the experience will be much less stressful and much more manageable if you invite someone to come along with you.
- Be aware of accident prevention — Take your time with steps, walkways and railings. Ask for help if you feel unsteady on your feet, and don’t be afraid to use those airport wheelchairs and electric carts with drivers.
- Make sure you have all necessary medications — Double-check that you have enough to cover all your needs for the time you’re away. Also, when flying, you’ll want to pack prescriptions in their original containers.
- Check the weather on the go — Go to weather.com and click on “Weather on Mobile” in the lower right corner to obtain apps for smartphones and tablets, so you can stay up to date on your destination’s weather.
As the Director of Operation for Right at Home, Senior Home Care in Chatham, I see many family caregivers stressed out before and during the holiday season. Give us a call or stop in if you need any suggestions for help. Wherever the holidays take you, may you have safe travels and a happy holiday!
Right at Home
What suggestions do you have to help aging loved ones travel safely during the holidays?