Travel Tips For Seniors

Flight Arrivals Sign

Let’s talk a little bit about traveling with your loved one who needs extra help.

Traveling by Car:

1. Take plenty of stops. If you’re traveling by car, consider the distance. Some folks just really don’t do well traveling long distances. While you’re on the road, schedule in periodic stops to give your loved one time to stretch, or take care of personal needs. Add plenty of time into your travel plan for these stops, so that no one is rushed.

2. Consider an SUV. But let’s say the distance is fine, and everyone is looking forward to the trip. Probably the best thing you can do is to have a small or moderately-sized SUV. These are often easier for people to get in and out of and move around in. Cars are often too low, and it’s hard to get up out of the car. It might not be hard for them to get in the car, but getting out may be another story!

3. Watch out for delicate skin. Another thing you might think about is adding some extra sleeve protection for those who might have really thin skin, and might bump themselves on the car getting in and out. Or, you might inadvertently grab them to prevent a fall or if the car jolts, and that can also hurt their skin. Think about protecting that delicate skin.

4. Check their body language. When you’re on the road, be mindful of what’s happening with your loved one. They might not tell you that they need to have a relief break. Watch their body language for extra fidgeting or things of that nature. Fidgeting might clue you in to taking a break.

Traveling by Air:

1. Look for help with security checks. Traveling by air is a different matter. It can be a lot of fun, in the sense that your loved one, particularly if they’re wheelchair-bound, can get you through security pretty quickly! Often the TSA agents will see that they’re wheelchair-bound and flag you into the handicapped area where they can go a quick security check of you and your loved one in the chair, and get you to the gate as soon as possible.

2. Travel first class. If it’s possible for you to travel first class, do it! That gives you several advantages. If your loved one is walking, they don't have nearly as far to walk to a first class seat. If they’re wheelchair bound, the flight attendants will transfer them from the wheelchair to an aisle chair, and take them to their seat. The first class seats are larger, there’s more space to maneuver, and they will get more attention throughout the trip.

My Dad and I travelled by air a couple of times when he was still with us. It was a great experience. He thought that was the way everyone should travel! He got extra attention from the flight attendants. As a matter of fact, they brought him a chocolate chip cookie, and I had to ask for mine! And then that became a funny story for him to tell over time.

3. Remember the sleeve protection! Don’t forget the added sleeve protection when you fly by air as well. There are corners they can bump themselves on, and it doesn’t take much for them to either get a bruise or tear their skin. So be aware of those kinds of things.

4. Talk about the flight in advance. Share with your loved one what will happen on the flight, if they’ve never flown before or if they’ve not flown in awhile. Let them know what to expect.

And have a really great time traveling, whether by car or plane! If you’re loved one is staying home, and need assistance, please give us a call. We’re always glad to help!