Traveling with elderly parents can be a little more challenging. Whether you’re driving to another state or taking a flight, these tips reduce stress and make the trip pleasant for everyone.
If you’re flying, it’s better to get there too early and have time to kill. If you push check-in to the last minute, the rush to the right gate will be stressful. If your parents struggle with mobility, you may not make it in time.
Being too early is always better. You can always go sit down and have a cup of coffee while you wait. Bring books and hand-held games that keep people occupied during the flight and on layovers.
Bring Plenty to Do
Road trips may be more leisurely for your parents to manage, but allow time for extra stops. Your parents will want to stretch their legs every few hours.
While you’re driving, make sure your parents have plenty to do. Load a tablet with their favorite shows and movies. Bring books and crosswords.
The other thing to consider is that your parents will have more fun if you pick a scenic route and avoid the interstate as much as possible. Try to pair scenic roads with faster interstates to keep them satisfied.
Have Them Choose the Stops
Involve your parents in the planning. Let them pick where you’ll stop. If you know you’ll need to overnight in an area, have your parents choose the type of accommodations they want and where they’d want to be.
Have them pick the restaurants. You might want to try a Greek spot you see, but if they complain about the food on the menu, find something that appeals to them. It will be an easier trip if they’ve eaten and aren’t hungry and cranky.
What If They Refuse to Go?
What if you’re traveling and your parents don’t want to go? Do you cancel your plans or force them to go? There’s a better option that makes everyone happy. Hire an in-home care aide to care for your parents when you’re away.
Respite care services are the best way to ensure your parents have the support they need. You head off on your trip, and a caregiver assists your mom and dad with meals, housekeeping, transportation, and medication reminders.
The in-home care aide can drive your parents to their medical exams and let you know how everything went. They can keep your parents company by joining them for walks or watching movies with them. Call a senior care agency to schedule respite care services.