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We have been traveling with my parents for many years. It is so fun to explore new places with the people you love. My parents especially enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of their grandkids. My mom and dad are getting older each year and as much as we hate it admit it they are entering the “elderly” category. We all agree that age is not going to stop us from going places and having fun together!!! We are adapting to new needs they have as they age and I have some great tips for traveling with elderly parents.
Tips for Traveling With Elderly Parents
Think About the Weather
We used to take all of our trips in the summer months. It was convenient because my mom and I were both off work for the summer and the kids were out of school. Now we have expanded our vacations to anytime of the year based on the weather in our destination. The heat is a problem for my mom due to some of her health concerns. We know we won't have as much fun if we go to a HOT destination during the summer. Instead we plan a summer trip and we head north where it will be cooler or we go to a southern location during the winter when the heat isn't too bad.
Some elderly people may be adversely affected by the cold. Thinking about the weather is one of my favorite trips for traveling with elderly parents. Going to a location that has snow and ice could present fall hazards!
Will There Be Stairs?
Stairs can be a challenge for the elderly. It may take them a lot longer to navigate a lot of stairs and some people just can't walk up and down stairs due to knee, hip and back issues. Years ago it never occurred to me to ask what floor our hotel room was on, but now I do.
It is simple to request a ground level room in hotels. If you are renting a condo be sure to ask about the stairs. We have arrived at condos before and been upstairs and elevators were not an option. 🙁 When looking at sightseeing activities be sure to consider how much uphill walking will be involved.
Take Along Important Accessories
Packing for a trip with elderly parents might mean an extra item or two. That is OKAY and will actually cause the vacation to be smoother and more comfortable for your parents.
Many elderly people are more comfortable traveling with adjustable briefs. It is so quick and easy to grab a box when you are at Sam's Club. The Member’s Mark Total Protection offers maximum absorbency, breathable material, Odor Guard® technology, expandable wings and high quality standards.
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Other important accessories that may be needed are walking assistant devices like canes, walkers or wheelchairs. These will allow your elderly parents to be more mobile during the trip and see more sights.
Plan Some Down Time
One trip we took to Wisconsin Dells was just about perfect because we planned some down time for my parents. We all went sightseeing in the morning and had lunch. The afternoons my parents went back to our condo and had some down time while I took the kids swimming. Then we grouped back up for dinner together.
This plan allowed everyone to enjoy the trip and no one felt overly tired or deprived. It is important to ask your parents how much they can or want to do on the trip and work with those requests.
Don't Forget Medications
I don't know very many elderly people who don't take any medications. When you are traveling with elderly parents be sure that they bring along all of their medications including meds they only take occasionally.
It is also a good idea to have a list of their medications and all of their health info including physician phone numbers on the trip in case it is needed. Nothing is worse than being far from home and needing medical attention and not having the necessary information.
Request Special Assistance When Needed
Most businesses are happy to accommodate people with special needs. If your elderly parents have some issues that require special assistance don't be afraid to request help. It is important to put in the request in advance or when you book so you will be certain the accommodations are available when you travel.
We used to see all the sights on our own. Now we are much more open to sightseeing tours. The big vans and buses are more comfortable and offer better views for my parents. They are able to drop us at the front door of attractions and it reduces walking distance. Most tour companies are happy to offer assistance to elderly guests too! It is worth spending a little more money for my parents to enjoy the sights in comfort.
Traveling with parents of any age means that flexibility is key to a good time. I have gone on many vacations as an adult with my parents. When multiple adults are traveling together it is important to share responsibilities and decision-making. Being flexible on what to do, when to do it and how to get it done will ensure that everyone enjoys the vacation!
Do You Travel With Your Elderly Parents?
Does your family travel with your elderly parents? What kind of fun trips have you taken? Are there any special tips for traveling with elderly parents that have made your vacations a success?
Be sure to head over to Samsclub.com and leave an online review about how much you like the Member's Mark Total Protection products after your trip!