There are things to consider when traveling with someone who has special needs or challenges, mode of travel, hotels, length or time from start to finish, meals just to name the basic ones. I decided to write this article after traveling with my 90-year-old Father during the holidays. He did not want to travel by plane due to some of the issues below. I was able to learn a thing or two about traveling with a senior citizen that maybe helpful to others.
Traveling by Car is the way my Dad wanted to travel from Southern California to Northern California. It was a great way for him to see some of the country that he has traveled before and the changes that have occurred over time. We did the following to make sure the trip was enjoyable. You can take your time, stop, and see the sights along the way.
1. The first thing we did was to go online and check to see where the rest stops, gas stations and restaurants were located along the way. These are all places that you can go to the restroom, rest, get gas, and something to eat or drink.
2. Key to traveling by car is to stop at least every hour or so to stretch, walk around, and go to the bathroom. This is good for everyone not just seniors or others, especially if seniors since bladder control may be an issue for them. Knowing that there were plenty of places to stop along the way, kept Dad from worrying.
3. We always take a small ice chest to hold drinks, fruit, yogurt, and cheese for snacking. This is a money saver and just plain convenient. Dad is a diabetic so this was important for us to have for him and us.
4. We were going on a long trip, so it was a good idea to break-up the trip so that no one got over tired and sore. We did this at our halfway point.
Staying at a Hotel
It is a very good idea to call ahead to book a hotel room if you know where you will be staying on your trip. When you are booking, a room it is a good idea to ask the following questions about the room. Some of these things I never even thought about asking when booking our hotel rooms.
1. Do they have an elevator if the hotel has multiply floors?
2. Can you get a room close to the elevator? Getting a room close to the elevator for someone who uses a walker or has a hard time walking long distances is a necessity.
3. Do they provide breakfast? This is great plus and such a time saver.
4. Are the rooms’ wheelchair and walker friendly? By this, I mean can a wheelchair or walker fit into the bathroom. Get they get around within the room.
5. Does the room have a shower or tub and are there handrails so that they do not fall while getting in and out? Is there a bath mat for inside of the shower so that the floor is not slippery? We had a great hotel but the bathroom was not user friendly for Dad who is unstable on his feet. They only had one handrail and no shower floor mat.
6. I love to travel by car you can stop to eat when and where you want which is great. As well as the type of food, you want to eat fast food or fancy restaurants or something in-between.
The thing we know about traveling with Dad a senior or someone with special needs or just anyone for that matter is to keep it simple, fun and do not get over tired by the trip. Take note of the small things that will be required to be able to travel. Then enjoy our trip!
American Diabetic Society- http://www.diabetes.org/
Map Quest- http://www.mapquest.com/