The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family members that live close by and far away. However, travel for elderly adults with mobility issues is very challenging, so you may need to adjust your holiday plans to accommodate their needs. For example, it may be helpful to provide airport assistance, a travel companion, or meet and assist service to take the stress out of holiday travel or visit their homes instead to utilize safety features that are already installed.
Here are some ways to make special accommodations for your elderly loved ones this holiday season to overcome mobility challenges and enjoy quality time together.
Travel for Elderly Considerations
As the holiday season approaches, you will need to decide whether you will help your elderly loved ones visit you or if you will visit them instead. There are certain risks and complications that come with travel for elderly, so it may be a good idea to enlist the help of a travel companion if you are helping someone who’s elderly flying alone.
There are also many other ways that you can assist with your loved one’s travel, such as picking him or her up from the airport in a vehicle with a wheelchair or scooter lift. Depending on the mobility challenge that your loved one has, a vehicle transfer seat may also be very useful for airport pickup and getting around town throughout the visit.
Tips for Elderly Flying Alone
Traveling with elderly parents can be challenging, but the need for mobility assistance is even greater for someone who’s elderly flying alone. For example, individuals may need flying wheelchair assistance to safely transport the wheelchair onto airplane ramps and board the plane. Contact the departure and arrival airports to arrange for assistance for your loved one if he or she will be traveling alone. It is also a good idea for elderly individuals to have a cell phone with them at all times to call for help if they become lost, have an accident, or need help for any reason.
Travel to Your Elderly Family Member’s Home
But in many instances, it may be easier and more convenient for you to travel to your elderly family member’s home instead of having them come to you. This way, your family member can remain in a familiar, safe, and comfortable place that is already equipped with personalized mobility accommodations. Your family member can continue to use the household stairlift as usual and make use of the existing accessible shower seats, bathroom guard rails, and non-slip rugs that are already in place. This also means that you won’t have to fully renovate your home to make it safer for visiting loved ones.
Making Holidays Special for Elderly Loved Ones
Whether you decide to travel to your loved ones’ homes or have them come to you, the important thing is to keep as much stress out of the holiday season as possible and to minimize risks in every possible way. So many seniors struggle with loneliness and depression around the holidays, so make sure to show the seniors in your life how much they are loved and valued.
You can do this by taking an honest interest in their lives and actively listening to their stories and concerns. You can make your loved ones feel needed and fully part of holiday celebrations by delegating small tasks for them to do. In addition to helping with mobility assistance, you can help decorate your loved ones’ home with festive decorations and cook favorite meals to share together and reminisce over good times. Just remember that big parties and extended outings can be a lot to handle for seniors with mobility issues, so make sure to schedule in plenty of time to rest and relax as well.