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How to Travel with an Elderly Parent

By Nick Paciello, 9:00 am on

Traveling with an elderly parent can be challenging, which is why you may need to spend extra time to get ready for extended trips. After all, you would not want your loved one to face a medical emergency when travelling to a different country.

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Henderson, NV, senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. Here are some tips that can make your next trip with your elderly parent as safe and stress-free as possible. 

Schedule a Checkup

Seniors are vulnerable to germs, and even a relatively minor infection could be lethal for them. Scheduling a doctor’s appointment a month or two before the trip will give your loved one time to get vaccinated. You can also ask the doctor for additional prescriptions so you can keep multiple bottles in your luggage in case one is lost.

Arrive at the Airport a Few Hours Early

For international flights, travelers need to arrive at the airport at least two hours before the flight to get through the security checkpoints. Those who are traveling with a senior might want to extend this time to three or four hours to avoid any complications. Some airports offer free assistance to senior travelers who have limited mobility or dexterity. They might allow you to drop your loved one off closer to the security checkpoint or pass through a specialty checkpoint that is wheelchair accessible. 

Research the Destination

When it comes to traveling with seniors, it is a good idea to research the destination as much as possible. Even if you are traveling with a smartphone with GPS features, you should still print out multiple maps and keep them in a few different bags. The maps should have clear directions to hospitals, pharmacies, and other facilities you might need to get to in the event of an emergency. 

Schedule an Extra Day of Rest

Traveling long distances can be hard on the body, and starting activities on the day you arrive might be overwhelming for your loved one. Arriving a day early gives your loved one time to relax and adjust to the environment. Pushing too hard can upset your loved one’s immune system, which increases the risk of getting sick while on the trip. As a general rule, it takes one full day for a person’s circadian rhythm to align with a new time zone.

Seniors with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive health conditions may need additional time to get used to the new surroundings. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Henderson families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s home care needs.  

Pack Lightly

Carrying too many bags increases your risk of injury and makes it difficult to focus on your loved one. People who are traveling with seniors should try to pack all of their belongings in no more than one or two bags they can carry comfortably. Purchasing high-quality luggage with wheels and locks might also be a good investment.

Seniors with dementia or other memory loss may require assistance with daily activities after reaching the destination. Henderson, NV, dementia home care professionals can help your loved one manage the symptoms of dementia. Though mental stimulation is a key component of dementia care, it’s also important to encourage seniors to socialize regularly, eat nutritious foods, exercise, and focus on other healthy lifestyle factors. If you need help caring for your senior parent, get in touch with Home Care Assistance at (702) 527-7723 today and schedule a free in-home consultation.