Dr. Marion Somers
As with all trips, planning is the bedrock and with lots of lists. I am a firm believer in checking off every conceivable scenario. Carefully plan your route, book hotels and activities long in advance. Taking into consideration accessibility needs or if the facility has elevators or stairways. Bring enough medications to not only cover the length of the trip, but extras in the event of loss or damage or if you are having such a good time you want to stay longer or if the weather is such that you cannot continue with the travels. Food, water, snacks need to be at hand and rest and some stretching keeps the spirits up. When traveling with a senior or someone with special needs knowing the ground you are going to be actually walking on such as pathways, gravel, cobble stones, grass and even the topography. Always have a backup plan to cover potential problems. If you or your senior needs special equipment such as a wheelchair; is the equipment in working order? If you are bringing any equipment do you have spare batteries, screw drivers and small pliers that might be needed? Wherever your traveling, let the facility or airline know whatever the special needs are to make sure you will be accommodated. Always provide family members with a complete list of medications that might be needed. Xerox copies of passports, driver’s license and credit cards in the event anything is lost or stolen you have the ability to move forward in your itinerary. Go over the complete itinerary so that all traveling together are in agreement. If you or your senior has not traveled recently maybe just a one day overnight in the immediate area of your home can flush out some unplanned problem. My book, Elder Care Made Easier 2 ed. (Book (drmarion.com), has information covering travel as well as such organizations as the Alzheimer’s Association of America, AARP, and many organizations that are affiliated with seniors or the disabled.