Summer has arrived! That means that the kids are out of school and the hot, summer weather is upon us. These lazy summer days also mean that it’s vacation season for many families – including grandparents and even great-grandparents. For those of you with elderly loved ones, planning to travel with them – or helping them to plan a trip of their own – can be stressful. That’s why we’ve put together this short list of tips to help you keep your loved one safe while they’re traveling – not only this summer, but also any other time throughout the year.


Consult with a physician.

Before you get too far into planning, speaking with a doctor is always a good idea. This is most important if your senior loved one has a chronic medical condition that he or she is living with daily. Their primary care physician can offer reassurance that their chosen destination is safe and that the method of travel (commercial airline, train, family car or RV) is going to be okay. It’s also necessary to request copies of any prescriptions when traveling.


Research, prepare, plan and make arrangements.

Thinking ahead for any needed assistance your senior may need at the airport, the train station or at their destination is imperative for a successful and stress-free trip. Do your research to see what types of services are available and then make the appropriate arrangements to insure your loved one’s safety at all points of their trip.


Pack smart.

This goes for you and for your traveling senior. If he or she needs your assistance with their luggage, the less you have the easier it will be for you to help them. If traveling by air, try to get everything into a carry-on suitcase that fits in the overhead bin – flight attendants are happy to help stow it for you – and have one additional smaller carry-on to keep with you or them. Not having to navigate baggage claim will be extremely helpful once you and/or your loved one arrive at your destination.


Have a medications plan.

Making sure that your loved one has enough of their medications to last them throughout the trip is a must. It might be good to consider having one to two days’ additional supply of any prescription medications on the off chance that you are delayed on your way home. Also, if you and/or your senior are flying, be sure to place medications in their bottles in a one-quart zip-lock freezer bag and pack it in a carry-on bag, along with copies of the prescriptions from the doctor. Any other dispenser, i.e. a weekly/daily med organizer, may not get past security in the airport.


Purchase additional insurance.

Did you know that Medicare does not provide coverage overseas? So, especially when traveling overseas, having additional medical coverage that will cover your loved one is critical. Travel insurance is also important because elderly travelers are more at risk of falling and hurting themselves, running out of a medication or becoming ill while traveling. The cost is usually $100 – $200, which is not a lot considering the peace of mind it can bring to you and your senior.


Traveling with your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents or any other senior family members can be some of the best times you’ll have. With the right planning and preparations, you can keep it a fun and anxiety-free time for everyone. Happy traveling!


If you’d like to learn even more tips for senior travelers, please don’t hesitate to contact us!



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