Some thorough planning ahead of time can make travel with a senior very enjoyable.

Traveling with your Stanwood senior loved one often requires a little more preparation and thought than just jumping in the car and cranking up the GPS system, or showing up at the airport on time for your flight. Many seniors require special care that make it necessary to do some planning in order to avoid unpleasant possibilities which might tend to lessen the experience for your loved one.

Going on some kind of family outing or trip can be a very exciting and rewarding experience for a senior, often even a highlight of their golden years, so it's really worthwhile to prepare properly and make it enjoyable for everyone involved. Stanwood area companion care professionals offer these simple steps to take, which can ensure that your excursion will be fun for the whole family, and greatly appreciated by your senior loved one.

Do the Research and the Planning

Give yourself plenty of time to plan for whatever kind of trip you have in mind with your elderly loved one, so that when you get around to making reservations, you don't have to settle for options that are inconvenient or disadvantageous for your senior. You'll most likely want to arrange for the shortest and most direct routes on your mode of transportation, so as to make it more tolerable for an elderly person. Some transportation carriers even offer senior discounts, so it may be worthwhile to inquire about these during planning and arranging phase.

Arrange for Special Services

It's a good thing to keep in mind that when you're making reservations for airline flights and other transportation, that you may have to alert the carrier about any special needs your senior have. If you overlook this important notice, the carrier is not legally obliged to fulfill any of your requirements, because late in the game they may not be able to. This means that if you need wheelchair service, special seating on a flight, special meals that observe dietary restrictions, or any other kind of services out of the ordinary, they have to be specified at the time of reservation so they can be adequately provided for.

Pack Light

One of the best things to remember about any long trip being planned with a senior is to pack light, limiting the baggage to what's essential for comfort at the destination. Any medications must be carefully packed, for instance in a zip-lock freezer bag, along with the original prescriptions, in case they need to be re-filled during the time away from home. This is extra important if your loved one is traveling by air because a medication bag will have to get through a security scan. Any other special medical needs that a senior might have, such as ointments, inhalers, reading glasses, etc. should not be overlooked during packing.

Allow for Comfort and Safety

When traveling by air, a comfort pillow can be a great idea, because it can provide a relaxing support for the head and neck on an airline flight, on a train, or even in the car. Anytime a period of at least several hours of travel will be necessary, senior comfort should be remembered and planned for, so it doesn't get to be a test of endurance for your loved one. If you will all be in crowded areas, either along the way or at the destination, safety should be kept in mind as well. Someone should always be in the company of a senior loved one so he/she cannot be victimized by a predatory individual looking for an easy mark. Obvious targets like a big purse or expensive jewelry should be avoided because these can offer temptation to the criminally-minded.

Plan for Destination Options

There are literally thousands and thousands of exciting and fulfilling travel destinations that your whole family can go to, even when accompanied by a less mobile and perhaps less healthy, elderly loved one. Some destinations even cater to groups which include a senior member, offering all the arrangements and allowances that most elderly people might require. Even if you're going someplace where this is not an option, you can reduce the likelihood of any unpleasant surprises at the destination by researching services and amenities provided well ahead of time. 

Enjoy the Experience

Traveling with your senior loved one can be one of the most enjoyable experiences you undertake together, especially since it can be so meaningful to them at a later stage of life. By focusing on what will be necessary to make the journey pleasant for your senior loved one, he/she will be more apt to get the most out of it, and instead of having to worry about things that went wrong, all of you can instead revel in the things that were great about the journey.