from Aging Care

Considering taking someone in your care on vacation? Here is a quick list to check off before you take off:

  • Get doctor’s clearance. Consult with the loved one’s primary care physician before booking any travel to discuss these issues:
  • Your parent’s abilities and limitations? Special vaccinations? Are there medications or supplements to help if anxiety or another mental health arises?
  • Get prescriptions for all your parent’s medications and get them filled before you leave.
  • Pre-plan accommodations.
  • If you’re renting a vehicle: A mini-van is a more easily accessible vehicle. If your parent has a wheelchair, walker or other mobility equipment, make sure it’s going to fit in the vehicle you choose.
  • If flying, request seat assignments in the rows designated for disabled travelers. If there is meal service aboard, advise the reservation system of any dietary needs. Make sure the airline and hotel can accommodate any assistive medical equipment your parent uses.
  • If walking is difficult, consider requesting a wheelchair so that an airport employee is assigned to help you get from place to place in the airport. When booking hotels, request a room on the first floor. Plan your itinerary carefully. Research each destination to ensure it can accommodate your elder’s special needs.
  • Find serenity. Avoid very loud restaurants and places with a lot of people if the person is overly tired. Do not move too quickly or appear too hurried.
  • Know the warning signs. Learn to recognize warning signs of anxiety and agitation. If your loved one is becoming agitated, remove him or her from the environment.
  • Find a quiet setting where you can be alone and let him or her calm down.
  • Watch the clock. Sundowner’s Syndrome increases fear and agitation just before dark. Get back to the room before the sun goes down. Lower the curtains and turn on lights to lessen the drastic change from day to night.