Posted on November 15, 2023 at 11:30 AM by Global Reach
As Thanksgiving approaches, many seniors in assisted living or independent living look forward to spending quality time with family and friends. For some, this may involve leaving their retirement communities and traveling to be with loved ones or enjoying a getaway from the maintenance-free apartments in their senior living community and heading out on the open road for a holiday adventure.
We all know the dangers of social isolation and never is this more true than during the holidays. The Meadows recommends you stress senior safety above all when planning transportation for seniors, especially those with limited mobility, memory issues, or cognitive decline. Although senior living in Iowa requires a bit of extra planning to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey, proper care more than makes up for any inconvenience it may cause. Here are some senior-friendly options for travel during the Thanksgiving holidays tailored to our 55+ community members.
Start planning your trip well in advance. This includes making reservations for accommodations, medication management, transportation, and any planned activities. This allows you to secure the best options and ensures a smoother travel experience.
Consult with Healthcare Professionals
Before embarking on your journey away from the assisted living facilities, schedule a visit with your healthcare provider. Ensure that you are in good health for travel and discuss any specific medical conditions or precautions you should take during the trip. Don’t forget to refill any necessary medication and carry a copy of your prescriptions.
Pack comfortable clothing and essential items for the activities of daily living. Consider the weather at your destination and pack layers for warmth. Include any necessary medical supplies, a first aid kit, and a list of emergency contacts. If you use assistive devices such as a cane or walker, make sure they are in good condition and bring them along.
Choose Senior-Friendly Accommodations
When booking accommodations, choose hotels with accessible rooms, easy-to-navigate layouts, and amenities that cater to the needs of seniors. Inform the hotel staff about any specific requirements you may have. This is one of the services offered by most hotels.
Opt for Direct Flights
If flying is part of your travel plans, for both your and your family’s peace of mind, consider choosing direct flights to minimize the stress of layovers and reduce travel time. Direct flights also decrease the chances of missing connecting flights and help you conserve energy. It’s an especially good idea when traveling with older people with memory loss.
Allow for Extra Time
Whether you’re driving or flying, plan to arrive at your destination with extra time to spare. This reduces the rush and stress associated with travel, allowing you to move at a comfortable pace.
Stay Hydrated and Rested
Traveling can be tiring, so it’s crucial to senior mental health to stay hydrated and well-rested. Carry a reusable water bottle and take breaks to stretch during long journeys. If you’re driving, plan for regular rest stops.
Make use of technology to enhance your travel experience. Utilize navigation apps, travel apps, and online check-ins to streamline the journey. Keep important documents, like your ID and travel itinerary, stored digitally for easy access.
Be Mindful of Dietary Needs
If you have specific dietary needs, inform the airline or accommodations in advance. Bringing snacks that suit your preferences ensures you have access to nourishing options during the journey.
Enjoy the Journey!
Lastly, remember that the journey itself is part of the holiday adventure. Take the time to appreciate the scenery, make social connections along the way, engage in conversation with fellow travelers, and savor the anticipation of reuniting with loved ones.
By incorporating these simple and practical Thanksgiving travel tips into your plans, you can enhance the safety and enjoyment of your journey, making the holiday season a time of relaxation and cherished moments with your family and friends. The Meadows wishes you safe travels no matter where the holiday may take you!