But for families taking care of older adults, Easter break may present some challenges. If you opt to bring your senior parent with you on your family vacation, here are a few pointers that can help ensure smooth sailing wherever you go.
Intergenerational Spring Break Tips for Families
1. Plan fun for the whole family.
A hiking excursion may not be viable if you are traveling with older adults or younger children. But a resort vacation or a cruise with plenty of low-key activities could keep everyone happy.
2. Inquire about accessibility.
If you’re booking a vacation that will include your senior loved one, ask about accessibility at the hotels and attractions. Request a first-floor hotel room to minimize walking or to enable a loved one in a wheelchair to exit the hotel quickly in the event of a fire or emergency.
In addition to booking a first floor room, you may want to ask about ADA compliance, as well as access to swimming pools, restaurants, and other amenities.
Some hotels provide grab bars and other safety features for guests.
3. Schedule down time.
You may enjoy vacations where you “go, go, go.” After all, you have sights to see and things to do. But if you’re traveling with children or older adults, make sure to schedule a few days of true R&R.
If your vacation involves a tour of attractions and theme parks, consider making every other day a “rest day,” where you plan a short excursion, a nice meal, and time to relax by the pool.
Better yet, keep your schedule open and flexible. Ask your loved one how they feel that morning, and plan the day’s activities around what they have energy for.
4. Research options for emergency medical care.
Research to find out which pharmacy, hospital, and urgent care facilities will be near your resort. Hotels can sometimes connect you with a local physician, if necessary. Check with them before your trip begins.
If you’re at a theme park, locate the first aid station on the map. Be mindful of that location as you go about your day.
If you opt for a cruise, you’ll find at least one doctor and two nurses onboard and available 24/7, as well as a collection of over-the-counter medications to treat common ailments.
5. Bring the right paperwork.
In addition to bringing a driver’s license, state I.D. or passport for each family member, travel with proof of health insurance and the contact information for your family’s primary care physician. In case of a medical emergency, you can easily access your loved one’s healthcare records.
6. Learn TSA regulations to get through security faster.
Did you know that seniors age 75 and older are permitted to leave their shoes and a light jacket on when going through airport security? Some airports also offer a different security line for families traveling with young children and older adults.
If your loved one has any physical or medical conditions that may interfere with security screening, obtain a TSA notification card in advance.
7. Review the rules for traveling with medication.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications are exempt from the TSA’s “3-1-1” rule. (This is a rule that states passengers may carry liquids gels or aerosols no larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters, contained in one quart size bag.) Label all medicines and medical supplies clearly to get through security faster.
Whether you’re flying or driving, bring a list of prescription and over-the-counter drugs your loved one is taking.
Consider Respite Care
If your aging loved one isn’t up for travel but you have your heart set on an Easter getaway, consider respite care. At Five Star Senior Living communities, your loved one can relax in a luxurious, supportive environment, while enjoying an array of daily life enrichment activities.
Learn more about our respite care and short-term stays for Easter break or any time of year at the Five Star Senior Living community nearest you!