Traveling with a senior citizen can be an extremely rewarding time for each of you. You can finally take that trip you have been talking about for the last few years. You can spend that special quality time together, getting away from all the hustle and bustle of the real world. Maybe you can finally see the Grand Canyon together, go on a cruise, or play a hand of Black Jack in Las Vegas. Whatever your destination together, it’s important for you to be aware of some signs or unspoken signals that seniors often provide us. Anything that makes the trip more comfortable for them will ultimately make the trip more comfortable for both of you. Here’s a list of general management tips for you or your caregiver that will help keep the trip enjoyable, safe and unforgettable.
- Remember to be patient. Try to keep in mind that unfamiliar surroundings and other issues can make certain places hazardous for seniors.
- Slow down the pace. Remember, seniors can’t keep up with the same pace you do. Slow things down to accommodate their comfort level. It may also be necessary to take extra time when you are getting ready to go out or to take a longer recovery time when getting in from an excursion.
- If you take sightseeing tours, make sure the tour company offers some kind of partial or full refund if you need to cancel with 24 to 48 hours notice. You really never know if something may prevent you from making it.
- Call ahead or log on to the websites of museums you plan to visit. You’ll want to make sure they have an elevator or escalator for getting around or from floor to floor. Most museums are huge and will require a lot of walking. Plan ahead.
- Pay attention to silent cues. This is a vital part of travel with seniors. There are a lot of times when seniors will tolerate situations in order to keep everyone else happy. Look for crabby or short answers, a tired look in their eyes or silence on their part. These can all be signs that they need some rest or perhaps they just need some peace and quiet. Too much activity can be stressful.
- Give your emotional support. Seniors can simply begin to worry if they are away from home for long periods, even if they are with their caregiver. It’s not that they aren’t having a good time with you! It is a great idea to make sure you have a cell phone that is fully charged with you at all times. This gives a senior easy access to connect with any family or friends back home, allowing them to check in or just make sure all is well back home.