Tips for Taking a Summer Vacation with an Elderly Parent

While traveling with an elderly parent may not be easy, an adventure together provides great memories. Here are some tips for taking a summer vacation with an elderly parent.

For many people, the idea of taking a summer vacation with an elderly parent who needs special care is out of the question. However, with some planning and flexibility, it’s possible to have a memorable time with your family while including your elderly parent. Read the following tips for taking a summer vacation with an elderly parent.

  • Even for those who are mobile, traveling can cause anxiety and stress. Those with limited mobility, depression, or chronic illness, may need their specific needs met to ease their anxiety. To ease your loved one's anxiety, acknowledge any concerns he or she may have, addressing them as specifically as possible.
  • Always bring a copy of your loved one’s prescriptions and extra medication when traveling. Before you leave, ask your mother or father’s doctor if you need any special documentation to travel with certain medications.
  • Take a break. Remember, it's your vacation, too! If you are traveling with family members, you may want to schedule specific times for others to help out with caregiving. Another option is researching local caregiver respite programs or senior daycare centers at your final destination.
  • Many airlines allow you to reserve wheelchairs for no additional cost. They will meet you as you check in and take you to the gate, and will meet you after you get off your flight.
  • If you're renting a vehicle, make sure that it is large enough to hold a wheelchair, walker, or mobility scooter.

Taking care of an aging parent can be extremely stressful. And one thing that can relieve this anxiety — a much-needed vacation — sometimes only adds to the stress. Follow these tips for taking a summer vacation with an elderly parent to ensure that everyone has a vacation full of positive memories.