People use every type of transportation available to be with those they love during the Holidays. If you are a Senior or are planning to travel with a Senior, here are a few tips to make your trip enjoyable.
Meticulous planning is the best guarantee for a successful trip. Seniors should take their physical and medical concerns seriously and make sure they are cleared for travel. Medical conditions requiring a physician’s care make this a top priority.
Any chronic illness is stressful, especially if basic precautions are not taken. Be sure to have all medications, emergency information, contacts, prescription lists and insurance cards packed before leaving home. If flying, have these items with you in a carry-on bag.
Traveling with one who has dementia or Alzheimer’s holds special challenges. Disorientation may occur when traveling in unfamiliar surroundings. When a normal routine is interrupted, it is easy to forget to take medication, resulting in unpredictable behaviors and anxiety. Being aware of these issues and knowing how to react in a positive reassuring manner will help make the trip less stressful. Alzheimer resources are able to provide valuable information on how to successfully travel when there is a diagnosis of dementia.
Search for the lowest fares and most direct routes if flying, taking a train or bus. Most car rental services provide discounts when plane tickets and lodging are combined with the company. Shop for discount deals early to lock in the best price.
Always expect the unexpected. Be prepared for changes in itineraries due to unpredictable weather. Listen to forecasts and plan accordingly. Realize Mother Nature makes her own plans.
Have an Alternative Plan
Staying with family and friends for the holidays may be fun but could become stressful. Have a Plan ‘B’. Some families find it easier and more relaxing to have lodging away from all the activity. Seniors and their families should feel free to engage in activities making the trip enjoyable for everyone.
Tips for Road Trips
If planning to drive keep these tips to keep in mind: Know your route; stop intermittently to stretch everyone’s legs and use the restroom facilities; have snacks and water available during the trip.
Choose to drive during daylight hours, especially during holiday time. More accidents occur during the night and in the early hours of the morning. If driving long distances on country roads you are less likely to encounter deer and other wildlife during daylight hours.
Long trips are safest when multiple drivers share the driving. It is better to break the trip into smaller portions when possible. Too long behind the wheel leads to road fatigue and sitting for hours at a time is hard on backs and circulation.
When planning a road trip, remember cities will have heavy traffic during the morning and evening commute time. If unable to avoid these times be prepared for long delays. During the holidays, roads are packed with travelers in addition to regular commuters.
Prepare Your Home Before Leaving
Holiday vacations are wonderful but often add stress to festivities, especially when worried about what is happening at home. Weatherproof the house before leaving. Set the thermostat to 50 degrees to prevent pipes freezing and adjust the temperature if there are plants needing to be kept at certain temperatures. Small appliances should be unplugged in order to prevent any electrical fires from starting. Sprinkle salt on the driveway, walks, and porch before leaving to prevent icing should there be excessive moisture and freezing temperatures.
Holiday time is a perfect season for thieves to look for homes with piles of newspapers or full mailboxes, all a signal no one is home. Arrange to have someone do a house check and bring in mail and newspapers or put a temporary hold on them until your return. Professional house sitters are available for hire and will maintain the Homefront if the owner is absent for a long period of time.
Preplanning trips is important as is taking the right precautions and planning for a lifestyle change in advance. The goal for both is an enjoyable and relaxing experience. When it is time to plan for retirement or make a move into Independent, Assisted, Memory Assisted or Skilled Care, contact Bridge to Better Living. Bridge to Better Living provides excellent guidance as well as resources and one-on-one assistance. Your journey of finding the best Retirement Community is always free when using Bridge to Better Living.