When you are a caregiver and your elderly charge has to travel, you have planning to do. In many cases, the caregiver has to travel with the elderly patient to be sure that he or she arrives in the right location at the right time. Maneuvering through a major airport can be overwhelming for adults who do not require full-time in home care providers. It is difficult to imagine how frightening it would be to be a senior citizen who requires care to travel alone.
The in home care provider needs to be prepared for the journey. Preparing for a flight with a senior who needs assistance is somewhat similar to preparing for a flight with children. Caregivers need to pack snacks and comfort objects for their patients just in case the flight is delayed or there is an extended layover on the way. Depending on the length of the flight and the stay, it is important to pack appropriately.
Senior citizens are not known for needing a big collection of clothes for a vacation, but they do need to have enough clothes to get them through the time they are gone. If they are staying with family members, seniors can usually get their clothes washed while they are away. This means that those seniors only need outfits for two or three days.
One of the most important preparations that caregivers need to take care of involves the medications. Again, depending on the length of the stay, seniors might need more prescription medications than they normally have on hand. It is important to speak to health care providers to be sure that prescriptions are up-to-date. Some seniors might even need some special prescriptions to help them on the flight, especially if they have issues with incontinence. Health care providers can also give in home care providers help on preparing for the journey.
Before going on the flight, it can be helpful for the caregiver to contact the airline. By letting the airline know that a senior will be on-board, they can have a wheelchair at the check in when arriving at the airport and at the gate when the plane lands. The airline can also seat the elderly traveler near the front of the plane or even in the first-class section of the plane, if the seats are available. If the caregiver is traveling, too, the airline can be sure to put the caregiver and senior together.
As the caregiver, it is also important to be sure that you and your patient have transportation once you arrive at your destination. After a long day of traveling, seniors can become very tired and it is better to have a ride waiting at the airport rather than having the senior wait for the ride. It can be much easier to pay a little extra to have a taxi waiting than to spend time with a grumpy, tired senior citizen.
Being prepared is the key to success when traveling with a senior citizen in your care.
Care Connection provides senior care in Mason, MI. For more information about our caregiver services, please call us today at (517) 489-2489.