Spending time with family should be a top priority in your life. This is especially true when it relates to spending time with your parents who won’t be around forever.
If you are going on a trip with one or both of the people who raised you, they may need special accommodations to ensure their ability to move freely and comfortably. What can you do to meet those needs on your next family outing?
Make Sure the Vehicle Is Kept at a Proper Temperature
If you are traveling by car, you will want to make sure that it isn’t too warm or too cold for the duration of the trip. This may be done by keeping the heat or air conditioning at a reasonable level or keeping the windows open to let fresh air in. You may also consider warming the car prior to beginning your trip or using seat warmers to add extra warmth before your parents get in the car.
Blankets or hot drinks may also provide warmth on a cold day or if the car takes its time warming up on a cold morning.
Don’t Forget Their Medication
Older people may be more likely to take medication for chronic pain or minor joint or muscle soreness. They may also take medication to help them sleep during a plane or car ride or to relieve any anxiety that they may have. Remembering to bring this medication can make it easier for your parent or parents to enjoy the journey and get to their destination without a lot of stress or fear.
Power Wheelchairs Can Provide Independence for Older Folks
It may be a good idea to bring a power wheelchair or any other motorized form of transportation to help your parents get around once you reach your destination. A wheelchair or scooter may make it easier to get around the hotel or easier to get around while out seeing the sights.
Providing an older parent with the dignity that comes with increased independence can help them enjoy their vacation. No one wants to spend several hours and hundreds of dollars traveling somewhere only to be stuck at their grandchild’s home or in their hotel room all week.
Even if your parent hasn’t said anything about their inability to walk or their decreasing motor skills, some people may be too proud to admit that their body is failing them. Therefore, they may risk suffering in silence as opposed to asking for help. This means that you should bring the wheelchair or rent one even if you don’t know if your parents will use it.
Keep the Trip to a Manageable Distance
Your parents may not be able to travel across the country in a day or two like they used to when you were a kid. Instead, they may tire easily and suffer from stiff muscles if they are forced to stay in the car or on a plane for too long. You may want to break a longer trip up into smaller pieces over a longer period of time or simply stick to day trips if necessary. If you have future family gatherings coming up, it may be wise to ask that your family members come to your parents as opposed to the other way around.
Traveling with your parents gives you a chance to see the world while bonding with the people who were never too busy to spend time with you in the past. However, it is important that you take their physical and possible mental limitation into account to ensure that they can travel in comfort wherever they go.
About the author: Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2