4 Tips For Traveling With the Elderly

Before starting a long road trip with your aging mom or dad, here are 4 tips for traveling with the elderly that will make the trip just a little easier.

 4 trips for traveling with the elderly

Recently, fierce winds and destruction from Hurricane Irma sent Floridians packing for the Western North Carolina mountains. Now that the storm has passed, thousands of evacuees will take the long road home, braving long lines at the airport and stopped traffic on the highways. 

At Remedy Health & Wellness Store, we’ve received phone calls from Florida evacuees staying in and around Asheville, inquiring about medical equipment for their parents. We’ve especially received many requests for home medical equipment like wheelchairs, rollators and mobility scooters.

Traveling with your parents can be one of the most rewarding experiences, or it can be a nightmare. Planning ahead to improve everyone’s comfort will make for a smoother car, plane or train ride — and reduce the likelyhood your parents will drive you crazy. But I can’t make any promises…

4 Tips For Traveling With the Elderly

1. Transporting your elderly parent in and out of vehicles

Here’s a free future forecast for you: When traveling with your aging parents, I see a lot of bathroom trips in your future. When that happens, how are you going to transport mom in and out of the car? Transport chairs are made exactly for this purpose: They are easy to fold for storage, are easy to push and comfortable for mom and dad for short sitting periods.

Medline Ultralight Transport Wheelchair with 19
This Medline Ultralight Transport Chair can collapse for easy transport. Available at Remedy Health & Wellness Store.

Pro tip: Make sure the transport chair is light-weight enough for you to maneuver in and out of the vehicle. Some wheelchairs and transport chairs are so heavy that you won’t want to use them.

2. Bathroom safety

Speaking of bathroom trips…

When you first check in to your hotel room, make sure the bathroom will be safe for your elderly parent to navigate. The bathroom may be one of the most dangerous rooms for the elderly

When traveling with the elderly, consider the safety of the bathroom where you'll be staying.
When traveling with the elderly, consider the safety of the bathroom where you’ll be staying.

Consider the following bath safety equipment:

  • Install suction grab bars in appropriate places, as long as your parent is strong enough to use them. If your parent is very weak, assist them getting in and out of the tub instead of using suction grab bars. 
  • Place non-skid mats in the floor of the shower and tub to help prevent slipping. 
  • Make sure bathroom necessities are within easy reach for mom or dad.

3. Comfort and leak accidents 

If your parent is prone to incontinence leaks, be prepared before an accident happens. 

Incontinence Underpads can be a great addition to your packing list when traveling with elderly
Incontinence Underpads can be a great addition to your packing list when traveling with elderly
  • Take note of the weather ahead of you, and consider the method of transportation. If you are not the driver or pilot, you probably won’t be able to control the temperature. In that case, dress mom and dad in layers to keep your elderly passenger cool or warm enough.
  • Pack enough incontinence underwear to last the entire trip. 
  • If you fear there might be some spillover, you can use underpads to place in the seat under mom or dad. It’s easier to clean up leaks from a pad, than having a wet seat for hours. 

4. Have fun. Yes, fun

When traveling with the elderly, take time to enjoy the trip.

Imagine if you were no longer in full control of your body, and had to travel hundreds or thousands of miles. You probably wouldn’t want this trip to be just a formality of getting from point A to point B, right? You would want to enjoy it, as much as your abilities allowed you to. 

With that in mind, try to make the trip as enjoyable for you and your elderly travelers. It could be as simple as stopping to admire a beautiful landscape, taking a family picture in front of a historic landmark, or visiting their favorite restaurant en route to your final destination. 

Finally, breathe. If the situation gets challenging, and you feel like you’re going to yell at someone, take a step back. Taking ten long, deep breaths can help to bring your temper back down and being in control of the situation. 

Need medical equipment suggestions before traveling with elderly? We’re here for you

We hope that these 4 tips for traveling with the elderly were helpful. If you have any further questions about appropriate medical equipment for traveling with the elderly, contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you. 

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