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.