- February 21, 2017
- Posted by: New York Elder Care Consultants
- Category: Elder Lifestyle
Many people are of the belief that when they grow older, their days of enjoying travel are over. Over a decade ago, I had to opportunity to organize a trip to Israel for a group of 10 nursing home residents and ten staff that included the CEO, nurses aides , nurses, the medical director etc. . The logistics were over the top but the outcome was a meaningful trip that not only drew great PR and funding for the facility but made a statement that it was still possible to make new and significant memories in later life.
So the question is how to do this without incorporating a large staff. Most airlines are gracious in providing wheelchair access to anyone needing the help pretty much from curbside. Policies vary by airline so call to inquire in advance to make sure.
Planning is key to guaranteeing the greatest success and especially for this type of travel. Start off by making sure to request an aisle seat for the person. This will enable them easy access to get up to walk and use the bathroom. It is most crucial that they get up every 2 hours to prevent the formation of blood clots. Some people are of the opinion that taking a baby aspirin will thin the blood, as a preventative measure against blood clot formation (DVT). You must check with the person’s doctor first, as they maybe on blood thinners already which could then thin the blood too much.
Make sure the person stays hydrated. Request that they drink a cup of water every couple of hours- not soda or coffee which can cause dehydration.
Make sure to pack some nutritious snacks as many of the airlines usually offer sugary or salty snacks- neither of which are good choices. Lastly fight temptation to rush off the plane when it lands. I have seen over zealous travelers who in their eagerness to disembark quickly, practically knock people over to get off the plane. A visit to an ER would not be a great start to a vacation for anyone , let alone a frail senior.
Always check with hotels and other places you will be visiting to learn about their accessibility. Their are still places around the world that have not made accommodations for the disabled. Many hotels have rooms that are suitable but in limited supply.
Basically patience and pre planning make travel possible even for frail elders and disabled.