Looking after the elderly when taking them on holiday can be a challenge, but also a wonderful and rewarding experience. If done well, spending some quality time away with your elderly loved ones can help to improve relationships, enhance their lives, and yours, and giving them a break from their normal routine can help invigorate their zest for life.
To ensure their comfort, safety, and enjoyment whilst taking the elderly on holiday requires some forward thinking. Always expect the unexpected and that way you will be prepared for it all and be able to take it in your stride.
Consider taking an experienced and fully-trained Care Assistant with you on holiday, to support your loved one’s needs and allow you to enjoy your holiday without the worries of caring for them 24/7. To find out more, read about our Bright Carer, Naomi’s experience when going on holiday with her client.
- Planning: involve your loved one in the holiday planning process. Spend time together discussing their preferences, interests, and any special needs they may have. Also, consider the location, staying in the UK or going abroad, and the duration of the holiday. The dreaming and planning process can sometimes be as much fun as the holiday itself.
- Inclusion: engage your loved one by involving them in the planning of any holiday travel and activities. By encouraging them to share their thoughts and preferences, you can help them to feel valued and engaged.
- Choosing a suitable destination: when selecting your destination, consider factors such as means of travel, distance to destination, climate, altitude and the availability of local medical facilities. Holiday destinations that are easily accessible, have a good infrastructure and offer a variety of activities suitable for different mobility levels are a good choice.
- Transport: choose transportation options that are convenient and comfortable, such as travelling directly by car, plane or trains. Inform the airline or train company about any special requirements in advance, so that they can provide appropriate assistance. Accepting whatever help is available to you can make the whole journey much simpler.
- Rest stops and breaks: Give yourself extra time when travelling, to allow for a slower walking pace, rest breaks and regular bathroom breaks; this will reduce everyone’s stress levels and make the trip more enjoyable. Remember that long periods of sitting and/or standing can be uncomfortable for elderly loved ones.
- Accommodation: select accommodation that is elderly-friendly, with accessible rooms, lifts, handrails, and no-step entry. Ensuring the accommodation is comfortable and safe for them will increase the chances of a comfortable stay.
- Mobility aids: if required, arrange for mobility aids like wheelchairs, walking sticks, or scooters. Check in advance if these can be rented at your destination, if not, make arrangements to take them with you.
- Medication and medical needs: ensure that you have an ample supply of any necessary medications and medical supplies. Keep a list of emergency contacts and nearby medical facilities at your destination.
- Travel insurance: purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and trip cancellations. Make sure the policy meets your elderly loved one’s needs and don’t forget to list all pre-existing medical conditions.
- Cater for dietary needs: be mindful of any dietary restrictions or preferences your loved one might have. Research restaurants or dining options at your destination that offer suitable choices.
- Pack essentials: pack comfortable clothing, appropriate footwear, and any other essentials your loved one might need. Don’t forget items like sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, rain coats and extra layers for changing weather conditions. Making a list of what is needed will ensure you remember everything.
- Activities: try to plan a mix of activities that can cater for different energy levels and interests. Include leisurely sightseeing, cultural experiences and relaxing moments to avoid overtaxing your elderly loved one. Don’t forget to spend time just ‘being’ together and appreciate the moment.
- Safety: prioritise safety at all times. Keep an eye on your loved one’s wellbeing, especially in unfamiliar environments, taking all precautions to prevent accidents.
When looking after the elderly on holiday, remember that the pace of travel may be slower. Be patient if unexpected situations arise and be flexible with your itinerary, making adjustments as needed. Remember, it is more important to have fun and make memories, than it is to cram in lots of activities.
Taking the elderly on holiday with you may well be a very different experience to the type of holiday you are used to, and so embrace this. Your loved one may require more rest and downtime, therefore allow for breaks and relaxation so you can all recharge and enjoy the trip to the fullest. By tailoring your plans to the needs and preferences of your elderly loved one, together, you can create a memorable and enjoyable holiday experience for everyone involved.
Get in touch
If you would like to know more about the companionship care we offer, our team would be delighted to talk you through the elder care services we offer, so please get in touch.
If you would like to join our team, providing private and bespoke in-home later life care and supporting families by looking after the elderly, please get in touch.