Traveling With Seniors


A few weeks ago my 80-plus year old parents told us “kids” that they were going to take a trip to see my mom’s sister in Seattle and that they are going to be staying with her for a few weeks. This would require a plane ride with a change of planes in Denver (unfortunately no direct flights from here), a car rental scenario, and a group of adult children worried for the safety and wellbeing of them. They are taking this trip next month, so we’ve been helping them get ready and organized to go on their vacation. This has been an eye-opening experience, but hopefully they are set for a smooth trip.

Here are some of the best tips we’ve learned on how to get your elderly parents ready to travel this summer:

Map out the Airport: They have a transfer in the Denver International Airport. This is a big airport so we have printed out a map and discussed the gate process. We have also asked for assistance (wheel chairs) to meet them at the gate.

Program their GPS: We have added in the rental company address and the address to my Aunt’s home in their GPS so that they have it set when leaving the rental company. We also made it easy for them to find their way back to return the car. We also explained the bus ride to the shuttle and what they need to do.

Medication and Notification: We discussed their medication needs and they will bring more than necessary in case of travel delays. They will bring their medication with them as a carry-on. We have also written out each medication they take and dosage and have sent it on to our cousin in the area – in case we need their assistance.

Program the Smart Phone: We added in all the key phone numbers they would need in case of an emergency. We added doctor numbers, confirmed all the “kids” numbers, and the local pharmacy that has their prescriptions.

Create a Check List: Yes, we believe this is necessary. We have created a check list of everything that they are packing that has to do with their health and wellbeing. This list includes medications, chargers, ID, phone list and we added it into one travel folder that has copies of their plane tickets, rental car agreement, pre-purchased tour bus tickets, and anything else them may need to refer to while on vacation.

Need a travel companion? FirstLight Home Care can help with our unique Travel Companion program. Call us today!

2 responses to “Traveling With Seniors”

  1. George Alexander says:

    Anyone who has parents of retirement age would be well aware that when their parent(s) travel alone they would need assistance, especially traveling state to state much less city to city… Myself being 63, I would like to mention several things that some senior citizens might find helpful if they’re traveling alone or with their companion and need additional help on that trip ..
    At the beginning of June this year I traveled from Houston ,Texas to Puerto Vallarta ,Mexico for a week… The trip was very important to me and I’m the type of person that likes too much insurance, rather than not enough… That insurance to me was in the form of a travel companion that I found on this website…
    His name is Wayne Arrington, President of Firstlight Homecare…
    It was the best move I ever made,having him as a travel companion… Before I left on the trip I thought to myself ,well it wouldn’t hurt to have someone as a companion, but I’m sure I could take care of myself… But as the days went by ,I found out that there would have been no way I would have made it back on time to Houston by myself.. I never thought that some of the things that he did for me I would never ask someone to do.. But as the week went on I found out that I leaned more on his ability and less on my own.
    I think I understand more now how important things are when it comes to a trip like that, especially out of the country. One could have nothing but admiration for Wayne and his ability to do things that I would’ve had much trouble accomplishing myself -considering the time involved, especially in a foreign country.. Wayne calmly took care of most things I would’ve considered impossible, especially when I take into account how much the trip drained my energy level as the week went on.
    But, I think the icing on the cake was how pleasant Wayne was as an individual. As the days went on I look forward to outings that we went on especially the dinners. I would like to think that any senior citizen would look forward to having him as a travel companion, they certainly would not have to feel afraid or wary of an individual they have never met before traveling.
    Of the many things learned about traveling with a companion, it seems what comes to the top is the following… If you have parent(s) that are very independent and insist on traveling alone please ask them to reconsider, a simple question to them could be if you didn’t have a traveling companion, would they have the finances ,right there ,to solve the myriad of problems that will occur if they travel alone? The domino theory is always ever present,because one problem always follows another….
    In closing I have been the kind of guy -especially in the last 10 years- to try and see the glass half full instead of half empty. And if I had up all the good things about that trip here is what comes to my mind..
    First item is I made a good friend in Wayne..that was what surprised me because I usually don’t make friends that quick..
    Second, Wayne tipped the proper person,said the right thing, maybe could be described as a concierge for special occasions, ,oiling any squeaky wheel so I could enjoy the trip itself-and did it with such flare and professionalism that I myself couldn’t have been more pleased. But personally, I would like to think the best compliment I could give anyone of that nature is to make the comment that he truly made me smile and I’m the kind of guy that’s always have been a real sourpuss….:)
    By the way, anyone who is considering a travel companion might also in addition make use of the website offered here- a discerning individual would be able to tell very quickly there’s much thought put into the tips made available
    throughout the site ,and a search engine makes it easy to research any subject available…
    George Alexander

    • FirstLight Home Care says:

      Hello George,
      Thank you for your great comment! We really appreciate what you had to say and the great feedback you made about our own Wayne Arrington. He is a great FirstLight Home Care owner and caregiver. We will share your feedback with everyone!

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