Traveling with an Aging Family Member

Engage with the West Michigan Woman Community!

Summer is often synonymous with vacations. If you're the caregiver for an aging family member, however, you may think a trip including your loved one is impossible. While some seniors and those with Alzheimer's often become agitated by changes in their daily routine, many can successfully travel if their caregivers plan ahead.

If you decide your senior can safely accompany you, these tips could help make things more enjoyable:

  • Choose the method of transportation, route and accommodations that will cause the least stress, avoiding peak travel times and flying direct whenever possible.
  • Medications, snacks and a change of clothing should be easily accessible. Carry a list of all prescriptions, doctor's numbers and emergency contacts.
  • You might be able to museum hop or spend all day at an amusement park, but seniors and individuals with dementia could be easily overwhelmed. Slowing down and relaxing may be good for everyone!
  • Unfamiliar environments may increase the likelihood that someone with Alzheimer's will wander. Use a buddy system at all times and engage all interior door locks at hotels, making it more difficult to leave during the night.
  • Have alternatives available, just in case.

If you decide your senior cannot travel with you, your travel plans needn't go on hold. Respite care stays, at a local senior community, allow your loved one to enjoy a short-term stay while his or her caregiver is traveling. From medication management to support with personal care needs, a respite stay provides seniors with the support they need when you can't be there to help. Heritage Senior Communities, across Michigan, have furnished respite guest suites where your loved one will have access to the same services and amenities as a permanent resident, including well-balanced meals and a wide variety of wellness activities to keep him or her engaged until you return.

 Content provided by Heritage Senior Communities.


More stories you'll love