Summer is here, and for most people, that means summer vacation. Traveling during the summer has always been a favorite for Americans, whether you like to lounge on the beach, sightsee in a big city, or enjoy some solitude in the great outdoors. However you like to vacation, you could be questioning your summer plans if you have a seriously ill or aging loved one. However, this doesn’t mean you need to cancel the family trip. With the right preparations, you can help your loved one enjoy a relaxing, worry-free summer vacation.
Get approval from your doctor. First and foremost, consult with your loved one’s primary care physician to ensure that your loved one is cleared for travel. Talk with their doctor or your Palladium care team about any concerns or risks in traveling. Use this opportunity to make sure that your loved one is up-to-date on all vaccinations and has refills to any prescriptions.
Pack wisely, with essential items easily accessible. Make sure to have all the essentials handy—this includes medication (and copies of prescriptions), water and snacks, emergency phone numbers, sunscreen, and important documentation (passport, Medicare card, and travel insurance). If you are flying, be sure to bring any pertinent medications on board.
Arrange special services and assistance ahead of time. If you are planning on flying, contact the airline ahead of time and request wheelchair access at the airport, advanced boarding, or disabled seating if necessary. You can do this for hotels, rental cars, and other vacation activities as well. Planning all of this in advance will allow for ease and enjoyment while traveling.
Be flexible. Plan for plenty of breaks and lots of downtime to accommodate your loved one’s needs. Be realistic and patient about how much activity they can do, and adjust your plans to their capabilities. Don’t stress if you can’t get everything done that you had planned; just enjoy the time you have together.
Take extra precautions when traveling somewhere warm. If you’re traveling to the beach or will be spending a lot of time in the sun, be sure to pack lots of sunscreen, loose fitting clothing, hats, and water. Also, make sure you know the signs of heatstroke. The elderly are especially vulnerable to heatstroke and often are unaware they are having issues.
Have fun! Don’t forget that even with all the planning and arrangements, you’re still on vacation. Enjoy this special time with your loved one; take pictures and create lasting memories.
Traveling with an elderly or ill loved one requires a degree of preparation and caution; it can be a rewarding experience for everyone involved. After all, you are going to a new place for relaxation or exploration, all with someone you love and care for.
If you are thinking about taking a vacation with an ill loved one, Palladium can offer more specific help and recommendations for those under our care. Our team of professionals offers a vast range of expert guidance and support. Call us at 888.502.4646 for more information.