Since the tragic events of 911, travel has become a lot more complicated. And for the elderly person traveling alone it can be a huge undertaking. As a caretaker a large part of the responsibility will fall on you. Oftentimes the elderly choose not to travel because of the many challenges involved. But with proper planning this can be less of an obstacle. Here are some helps to help in your preparation for their trip.
Book a flight well in advance if possible – Take into consideration the time that you schedule a flight. Don’t make it too early, especially if it is during the week. Concerns about being in rush hour, is not something that you need to concern yourself with. Additionally you will be competing with business travelers in those early morning hours. Many business travelers often travel first class thus lessening the choice for those prime seats being available for the older traveler if their wallet can afford it. Elderly people don’t like to be in a rush because it tends to make them anxious and uncomfortable.
Make a list of medications that will be needed – Write down all medications that will need to travel with them. Pack them the day before, leaving out only what they will need for the day of travel. This should be taken with them in a carry-on bag in case their luggage is lost.
Make a list of clothes to pack – Keep in mind that there is a weight limit on what they can have in their luggage. Expect to pay more if you exceed that limit. The place that they will be staying will likely have a washer and dryer that they can use. Make sure to pack a light jacket or sweater as the elderly tend to get cold a lot.
Walker and canes – These “must-have” devices are necessities for many elderly people who are traveling. It makes their lives more functional and makes them more independent. Bulky items like wheelchairs may possibly be rented upon your arrival at their final destination. Check with the airline carrier to ask about stipulations on items such as oxygen tanks or other medical equipment before making your reservations. There may be restrictions and extra charges.
Cell phone and chargers – Make sure these are carried on with them if they own one. Mobile phones allow the elderly to keep in contact with the outside world even while away on their vacation.
Toiletry items such as lotion, deodorant, toothpaste and creams might be best purchased upon arrival at their destination. Too often travelers pack these items in larger sizes which are not allowed to be carried on. Instead of wasting money, have them purchase smaller ones when they get to their final destination or let their hosts know that they will need to purchase them.
Leave well in advance of the flight departure – Take in consideration that things sometimes might happen en route such as car trouble or a host of other problems. By giving yourself enough time you can hopefully thwart off those anxious moments of worry that the elderly sometimes have when obstacles are presented.
While it may take a little more consideration when preparing an elderly person for airplane travel, in many cases it can be something doable.