Tips For Planning And Preparing For An Enjoyable Summer Vacation With Your Senior Loved One
It’s time for your summer vacation, and your senior loved one will be accompanying you. Are you looking for suggestions on how to prepare for an enjoyable stay? Pegasus caregivers in La Crescenta and elsewhere offer these tips to help you have a safe, and fun, trip.
Before you begin, understand that medical experts recommend staying home. Their assessments of the risk of traveling during the current pandemic vary. However, they all agree that there is a risk and that the elderly are at higher risk.
So the first thing you must do is evaluate the risk factors relevant to you and your loved one. That includes considering the mental and emotional health issues resulting from staying home. You’ll have to decide how much to risk physical health to improve psychological well-being.
Vacation Success Depends On Planning Ahead
The physical and cognitive abilities of your senior are the biggest factors in planning a vacation. You will need to take into account your loved one’s daily routines and rituals. That will help you know what to pack and how to balance rest with activity.
If mobility is a factor, ensure that accommodations have handicapped access. You will also need to ask about policies on medical equipment, such as oxygen tanks. That includes entertainment and recreational venues, as well as lodging and restaurants.
Regardless of how or where you travel, pack an adequate supply of all medications. Prescribed meds should be in their original bottles. Carry a list of emergency contacts and relevant medical information for both you and your loved one.
Where To Go
Infection hot spots and areas of political or civil unrest have traditionally affected vacation plans. As this is being written (June 2020), several states require visitors from other states to quarantine for 14 days. That could ruin the vacation for everyone.
All the states are in various phases of reopening, and the availability of facilities change frequently. If specific activities are essential for enjoying your vacation, call ahead to confirm. Even so, it’s a good idea to have backup options.
If your loved one is up to it, consider spending as much of your summer vacation outside as possible. Outdoors is safer than indoors. Although the risk of infection is significantly lower outdoors, wearing masks and practicing social distancing remain crucial.
How To Get There
If your vacation includes traveling by air, contact the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). They have stringent regulations on medications, as well as other medical supplies or equipment. They will need to know in advance about implants like pacemakers.
You will also need to contact passenger services at your chosen airline. Due to the current pandemic, regulations and flight information has been changing almost daily. Whether traveling by air, ship, or train, take out travel insurance and read the fine print before going.
Traveling by car takes longer to arrive at your destination, but you have more control. If you can, avoid heavy traffic or rush hour times. Your senior may experience distress with fast-paced traffic or being caught in a traffic jam.
- If traveling a long distance, leave home a day early and make the trip in two segments. That will keep your loved one from becoming too exhausted from traveling to enjoy the destination.
- Make sure your route includes roadside rest stops. If adequate locations for restroom breaks are doubtful, you will have to consider alternatives. Disposable urinals are one option.
- Stock a cooler with a selection of healthy snacks and bring plenty of water.
- Stop frequently and let everyone stretch their legs. It will help keep you (or the driver) alert. It also lessens the potential of blood clots forming in your senior’s legs.
- If your loved one is cognitively impaired, bring along an item they find comforting. Or choose an object that they can fiddle with to keep their hands and minds occupied.
Be sure to carry plenty of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.
Another option is to rent an RV, as a way to reduce exposure to COVID-19. You’ll have safe and convenient bathroom facilities whenever needed. You’ll also avoid changing lodgings and can safely prepare meals.
Where To Stay
In the past, it was easy to find suitable places to spend the night. Now, you have to make sure your lodging doesn’t harbor the coronavirus. Hotels, motels, BnBs, and Airbnb, among others, all have strict guidelines for disinfecting procedures.
Experts know that the coronavirus can remain alive on surfaces, but no one knows for exactly how long. That’s why they advise against staying in any vacation rental unless it’s been vacant for at least 24 hours.
It’s up to you to ask about previous occupancy, as well as their disinfecting process. You may need to clean everything yourself or stay elsewhere. Consider bringing your own bedding and towels.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our caregivers in La Crescenta and our other locations are dedicated to keeping your loved one safe and healthy. We offer all levels of personalized care in the privacy of an individual’s home.