Tips for traveling with elderly parents

 Summer time is upon us!

For those who know, traveling with an older loved one can be very challenging and requires tons of patience.

When traveling with elderly loved ones, detailed planning can create a more enjoyable travel experience. Below are some tips to keep in mind when traveling by air, land, or water.

family-vacation

Before making any reservations, get travel clearance from a physician. Here are some things to consider when discussing trip ideas with your loved one’s physician:

  • Will the chosen destination present any health problems? And if so, which environmental conditions would be a better choice?
  • What is the safest security screening method when traveling by air with an implanted medical device, like a pacemaker or surgical hip?
  • Will this doctor write a prescription for surplus medication and also provide a copy in case of an emergency?
  • Does the doctor suggest vaccinations? If so, when is the best time to be vaccinated prior to leaving?

Drug categories vary by country. You may want to check whether certain medications are restricted in your final destination. If so, request a note from the doctor indicating that it is medically necessary for your loved one to take this medication while on their trip. If medications are dispensed using a needle, a note from the doctor would be helpful in that case as well. Lastly, some airlines require a consent form be completed and signed by a physician when traveling with portable oxygen.

The Planning Stage

Southwest Airlines offers senior fares for travelers ages 65 and older, but they require an age verification process. You can also select “senior” traveler when booking flights through United.com. Other major airlines offer senior rates as a promotion or for specific destinations.

Amtrak offers 15% discount on rail fares to most destinations for passengers ages 62 and over. Also when making reservations, keep in mind that some companies offer AARP discounts, so be sure to ask about that.

If a discount deal seems too good to be true, move on from that offer. It is better to pay a little extra for a safe, enjoyable trip than to pay less for what might be a disaster waiting to happen.

Most travel services require at least 48-hour notification of accommodation needs. Consider travel insurance for medical coverage overseas. Medicare does not provide international coverage.

 

 

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