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Plan Ahead to Take a Senior on Vacation


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July 15, 2011

Inter-generational vacations can be fun for the entire family. But you'll want to plan ahead, and you may need support if an older adult is traveling with you.

Q. We would like to take my 78-year-old father on vacation with our family this year. What tips should we consider to ensure dad is comfortable and that the kids are having a good time, too?

What a great opportunity for your dad and your children to spend fun, quality time together. The first thing you should do is sit down with your father and determine what his routine is like. Does he take medication and when? Is he on a restricted diet and, if so, what does he eat? Is it important that he eat at a certain time? Does he nap regularly? How often does he need bathroom breaks?

Answering questions like these will help you incorporate a routine into your travel schedule. Even though your dad will be on vacation, it's important that he maintain his habits to avoid becoming ill while away.

It also might be a good idea to ask your father to discuss the trip with his physician. Perhaps you could go along on the visit or participate in a conference call. Ask your dad's doctor for any travel recommendations. Make sure your dad doesn't forget to pack his medications.

Consider the climate where you'll be headed and pack accordingly, remembering seniors can become chilled easier than younger travelers. If you'll be doing any walking, make sure your dad has the right type of shoes for the terrain.

Remember to make sure that your father drinks enough fluids to remain hydrated and doesn't become overtired with all the activity.

If you live in another city and aren't around to help your dad get ready for his trip – or even if you're just busy getting ready yourself – enlist the help of a friend or professional CAREGiverSM.

Home Instead CAREGivers, for instance, will do all of the things you would to help your dad get ready for your trip. A CAREGiver could help your dad pack for vacation, make sure he has all the necessary medications, stop newspaper delivery and other household chores to prepare for his departure. Have fun and good luck.

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