Solutions for Traveling with Frail Loved Ones
If you’ve watched a frail loved one negotiate a tricky step or uneven path while on an outing, it may be hard to imagine them taking a vacation, especially to unknown territory. But as awareness of the growing senior population’s changing needs increases, viable travel options have opened up to fill those necessities. It’s important to remember that we all occasionally crave a change of scene and break from routine, particularly older adults who’ve enjoyed traveling when younger. With safety and accessibility concerns addressed, caregivers and family members will feel more assured when helping seniors plan a get-away. The following are ideas to consider.
- Special Travel Packages for Seniors – Travel and tour companies have begun to develop niche trips geared towards the elderly. A cruise, such as a river cruise designed for older adults requires much less walking and fewer accessibility hurdles. When researching a trip, look for language like “leisurely paced” or a scale that rates the tour from “easy” to “challenging.”
- Hiring a Nurse or Trained Staff – If your loved one has medical conditions that pose risks while traveling, there are travel-related companies that offer the services of healthcare professionals, like nurses to accompany caregivers and their family members. While it’s not an inexpensive solution, it certainly would make travel with a frail senior less stressful.
- Enlisting a Mature Grandchild – Multigenerational interaction is good for mental and physical health. If there is a responsible, mature grandchild in the caregiver’s family who would enjoy a get-away, ask the senior if they would want to pay for the grandchild or niece’s travel. Many young adults have strained budgets and would welcome the opportunity to travel and spend time with a loved one.
- “Time-Sharing” in Assisted Living Communities – In an innovative new area of senior respite/travel, some assisted living companies are offering a kind of swap program for residents. Regency Pacific assisted living residents can participate in this program, allowing them to visit and vacation at another of the company’s locations. Called “Assisted Living Vacations,” a resident may stay free for one week in any of the other communities – in Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
SeniorLiving.Net is a free service for families to use that are looking for senior care or senior living for a loved one. Call (866) 662-0435 to speak to your local Care Advisor about senior care providers in your local area.