Eldercare Series: 6 Tips for Summer Travel With Elders

For many families taking a summer vacation or holiday is a tradition. Everyone packs up, and the household heads off to a fabulous destination for family fun and quality time. Last summer we brought you “4 Tips For Summer Road Trips With Kids.” Members of the sandwich generation can combine those tips with these 6 handy tips for traveling with elders to help make their travel time as smooth as possible.


Keep medications handy.

One mistake many people make is packing medications in with luggage or toiletries. If you are going on a road trip and your elder needs their meds, you may find yourself unloading the vehicle and digging through the luggage. Instead, keep your elders meds in your purse or in a separate bag you plan to keep close by.

If you plan to fly, put their medications in your carryon bag. If you pack them in their luggage and they need them during the flight you’ll be out of luck. Also, if luggage is lost or damaged you will at least have the medication still in your possession.

Stop and stretch it out.

To reduce the risk of blood clots, make sure that everyone in the family stretches and moves every hour, especially your senior citizen. On road trips, stop at a gas station or rest area and let everyone walk around for a few minutes. On a plane, have your elder stretch, move their legs and arms up and down, or take a walk down the aisle to the restroom.

Dress your elder for comfort.

While you always want loved ones to look their best, when traveling focus more on the comfortable aspect of clothing. Everyone in the family should wear loose comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict movement. Speak with your elder’s physician about compression stockings, which may help with circulation issues.

Make sure to keep your loved one hydrated.

Dehydration happens quickly and easily in the elderly, so make sure to always have water handy for you loved one. The humidity on an airplane speeds up water loss in your body, so don’t be shy about asking the stewardess for water. Ask for bottled water and try to avoid tap water, tea, coffee, and drinks that come out of airplane water tanks. As an added bonus, drinking lots of water helps with jet lag.

Have healthy snacks available.

Many elders have medical issues that require them to have snacks often. Seniors with diabetes, hypoglycemic, or even those who have medication that needs to be taken with food will need something to munch on. Keep snacks healthy by packing fresh fruit, cheese, nuts, or granola bars in your purse or carryon bag. Having snacks handy can prevent a meltdown with hungry kiddos too.

Keep your loved one involved.

If you are still in the planning process of your trip, ask your senior citizen for their input. Traveling can be stressful for anyone, especially seniors who are accustomed to staying at home most of the time. Talking about the trip and letting them know your step-by-step plan can help sooth anxiety.

Do you know of another great tip for traveling with senior citizens? Did this article have any tips that helped your family? If so, leave a comment! WE LOVE COMMENTS!

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