Arranging travel for elderly relatives doesn’t need to be too difficult. It’s coming up to the holiday season and this is often when we plan to visit our elderly relatives, or when they might plan to visit you. The older our beloved relatives get, the more we might worry about them. Even when they’re independent and self proficient, we often can’t help but worry about them as they age and might find travel more difficult, due to things like losing their vision, or the chance that they might have a fall.
If you would like to arrange a family reunion, or want to celebrate a special event with your older relatives, you might find that some of your great-uncles and grandparents are unable to travel on their own as well as they once could.
The good news is that you can often seek alternative solutions for them, make arrangements to pick them up, or seek a different location to accommodate their needs. Just your elderly relative might be unable to drive or travel by plane, they should not miss out on special family holidays or gatherings. If you happen to be in charge of organising travel for them, here are a few ideas for you.
Plan to spend the holidays closer to them
If your aging relatives live far from you, you can look at shifting part of the family celebrations closer to where they might live. It will be important to check with the rest of the family group that they are ok with traveling at this time, and they are happy to stay in the selected town, rather than where they might usually gather. This is a great way to ensure that you’ll all be together, but this approach might not work for every family. Some travel for elderly relatives is easier to arrange than others.
Pick your older relatives up
You might decide to jump in the car if your elderly relatives cannot travel on their own, and pick them up. While this might be a small inconvenience for you, they will appreciate the gesture. You can get a friend to take them to your place, or other relative who lives closer to them to give them a lift to the special vacation or family gathering. It’s often worth the hassle just for peace of mind.
Arrange a medical escort
Something that you may not have thought about before if you are unable to change the location of the event, or pick up your elderly relatives who would like to attend, is to arrange a medical escort service to help them on the plane and during their travel. Contact air evac services to get an overview of the service, and find out how they can guarantee the safety and wellbeing of your loved one. You might want to arrange your family member to get a medical check before the event, so the doctor will confirm that they are fit enough to attend. This might be something you haven’t thought of when arranging travel for elderly relatives.
Take their special needs into consideration
If your older relative is fit to travel alone, and is capable of making it to where the family celebrations are, you will still need to consider their particular needs when they arrive. Make sure that you have all their travel documents copied, and you have accessible facilities in the venue you choose. Finally, take into consideration any special diet your relative might prefer, and ask their doctor’s advice on drinking alcohol or eating spicy food (for example). Have the contact number of their private doctor at hand, and save the number of a local hospital just in case you need help, depending on the age of your family member. When you plan travel for elderly relatives, this is something to consider.
Travel for elderly relatives does not need to be a source of stress
While family events and vacations over the holiday season are enjoyable to take part in, arranging them can be challenging. Bringing different generations together will call for special consideration for elderly relatives.
Make sure that you find out more about their health, mobility, and medical needs, so you can accommodate these during the event/s and when arranging their travel. Pick a location that is accessible and easy to travel to for older family members, and you can get them to join in the celebrations. They’ll thank you for it!