Traveling and Care for Your Aging Loved One
It is important to revisit travel tips when you are planning a trip in the near future with a loved one recovering from injury or sickness, requiring home health nurse assistance or therapy. This is especially relevant if you are traveling outside of the state or region – as long trips are much more strenuous on aging bodies.
First of all, before you go on any trip, consult your loved one’s home health nurse or therapy nurse to make sure they are able to travel. Tell them the details of your trip and all of your plans prior to leaving. When your loved one is in the care of nurses or home health, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
As always, make sure you pack all medications and, if possible, pack extra. Always have contact information for all current doctors and nurses handy. In addition, have an emergency plan prepared, so you are ready if they need immediate care. If your loved one has an oxygen tank, review guidelines for safely storing and traveling with compressed oxygen before the trip begins.
If you are flying, alert the airlines if you need wheelchair assistance or extra time to board or exit the plane. If your loved one has a special diet, plan to have food handy in advance or ask if the airlines has a meal that fits their dietary constraints available. Pack compression socks and to avoid blood clots if you have a long flight. Take time for frequent breaks while walking and show you care by making sure they are always comfortable.
When booking a hotel, ask for a room on the first floor and request a handicap room if necessary. If the first floor is unavailable, make sure your room is near the elevator, so your loved one has easier access to the room.
For road trips, be sure to take regular stops to stretch and do therapy exercises to increase blood flow. Similar to long flights, make sure there are compression socks and comfortable shoes in the car just incase they need them.
More than anything, don’t try to do too much when traveling with a loved one who is aging and requires home health or therapy. Always go on the side of caution if you are not sure.