Ideally, travel is an opportunity to let loose and enjoy a new place, culture, or even language. For elderly travelers, there are several particular tips that will help them protect their health and safety and plan a truly senior-friendly itinerary. Here are four of the best tips for elderly travelers from Lehigh Valley elderly care professionals.
1. Consider your health.
Before taking a trip, seniors should consider how their health and health care may be affected by their travel. Take a closer look at your insurance policy to acquaint yourself with the procedures for seeking medical care outside your network or in a foreign country. Seniors should also take care to pack an appropriate amount of any necessary prescriptions. Don’t forget to check with TSA for any relevant rules if you or your travel partner needs to travel with insulin or other injectables. Finally, make sure that you bring documentation on your health status. Many smartphones have the capacity to store health information in case of emergency, and it never hurts to have a printed copy as a backup.
2. Secure your home before you leave.
An obviously empty house can be enticing for burglars. Before leaving on a trip, consider letting one or two neighbors know about your travel plans, but otherwise, avoid advertising your absence on social media. Remember to suspend mail and newspaper delivery to avoid piles of unattended mail on your doorstep, and adding a few timers to your indoor lights can help create the illusion that someone is home. If you are traveling outside the country, consider leaving a copy of your passport with a trusted friend in case of emergency.
3. Think about your feet and your mobility.
Many seniors maintain excellent physical health, but as we age, it is important to be sensitive to our decreased mobility and stamina. Make sure that you pack comfortable shoes for walking, and pay attention to the distance from your accommodations to public transportation or other landmarks. Traipsing around the outskirts of a city may have been adventuresome in your twenties, but it is wise to conserve your energy for the sightseeing itself and not the commute to local attractions.
4. Pack as lightly as possible.
Sensible packing is a good idea for travelers of any age, but bulky suitcases can be particularly burdensome for seniors. In a single airport, you may walk a mile or more to get from one terminal to another—carrying giant bags can slow your pace significantly and lead to sore and achy muscles. Once you reach your destination, you may also need to carry your bags up stairs or on a long walk to the hotel. You will thank yourself later if you keep your suitcase light and compact.
Travel can be an immensely rewarding way to enjoy the golden years. By taking just a few steps to plan your trip responsibly, you can increase your chances of a pleasant and hassle-free trip.
Learn more about senior safety and wellbeing from the friendly staff at Home Care Assistance. We offer a variety of part-time and live-in senior care services, and our experienced caregivers in the Lehigh Valley are expertly trained to help seniors maintain health, wellness, and safety in the comfort of home. To learn more, please give us a call at 484-350-3874 and schedule a free in-home consultation.