<!–[CDATA[The holidays are a time of year when families often embark on trips together. For some Indiana families, those travel plans may include an older loved one. These types of trips are great ways to build bonds among the generations and create memories that will last a lifetime. But traveling with a senior family member may require making a few accommodations.
Planning for an Intergenerational Trip
To help your intergenerational trip will go more smoothly, here are a few tips:
- Consider Special Needs: Holiday vacations often require travelers to spend a lot of time riding in a car or walking around at an attraction. Both can present unique challenges for older adults. For example, walking around Disney World on a hot, humid Florida afternoon may not be difficult for younger people. But for seniors, especially those with chronic health conditions, it can be a struggle. As can riding in a car for long distances without stopping. Be sure you take your Indiana senior loved one’s special needs into consideration as you are putting together your itinerary. You may need to plan frequent rest breaks and utilize taxis or public transportation more than you would if your family was making the trip alone.
- Create an Online Medical File: Another tip is to use an app or website to create a medical file for your older family member. CareZone and MyMedical are two you may find to be helpful. These types of programs allow you to safely store health information ranging from a medication list and medical history to physician phone numbers. In the event of an emergency, you can use your smart phone to quickly access this important information.
- Be Prepared to Communicate: If the older adult who will be traveling with you has a cognitive impairment, be prepared to swiftly and discreetly communicate that to others. Airport security can be especially confusing for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. You might find it helpful to create a card with a short description of your situation that you can quickly hand to people you need to communicate with along your journey.
- Do Your Research: Another suggestion is to call the hotel ahead of time and speak with the manager. Find out if they work with respite-style caregivers who can stay with your loved one in the hotel while your family is out. That will allow your kids to enjoy some of the activities they are interested in that might not be suitable for older adults.
Call the Five Star Senior Living community nearest you to see how a celebrity chef makes Thanksgiving Day special.