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5 Tips for Traveling with Your Elderly Parent(s) This Summer

By Rick Cohen, 9:57 am on


Summer is in full swing and vacation is in the air. If you provide care for an elderly parent, perhaps you can take advantage of the summer months and enjoy a vacation together! Whether it’s your parent who wants to travel, or it’s you who is in search of some much needed R&R, traveling while caregiving is completely feasible with proper planning.


  1. Communicate with your elderly Mom and/or Dad. For individuals with limited mobility, chronic illness, or anxiety, travel can result in added levels of stress. Be sure to speak with your Mom and/or Dad prior to your trip and address any concerns that they may have. You will want to assure them you will tend to all their wants and needs; perhaps you may encourage them to take part in some of the travel planning, as well.  Suggest activities and events you know they will enjoy and that will be safe for them to take part in.  However, before making any travel plans, it is important to speak with a Milwaukee elder care specialist or your loved one’s primary care physician to ensure they are fit to travel and that you can meet all of their needs while away from home.

  2. Be realistic about your travel itinerary. If your parent(s) has complex medical needs or has severe mobility issues, certain trips will be more feasible than others. For instance, a trip to a nearby lake house may be more enjoyable than trying to travel across country. Also, be realistic about what activities you are planning on participating in. Remember, this is a vacation and a time to relax. Pace yourself and remember to tend to the needs of your Mom or Dad before engaging in new activities. Try not to rush your parent(s) from one from one activity to another and make sure you’re doing your best to enjoy quality time with your parent(s).  They will appreciate your time with them, as well, so do your best to relax and have a good time.

  3. Plan ahead. If you are going to be flying or staying at a hotel, call ahead to confirm your reservation and let the staff know you will be traveling with an elderly adult. If your parent(s) needs a wheelchair, walking aid or a handicap accessible room, making this request prior will help save time and headaches upon arrival and will make the vacation more comfortable and enjoyable for your Mom and/or Dad, as well.

  4. Pack appropriately. Realizing you’ve forgotten something while on vacation is often stressful and can be even more worrying if you’ve forgotten something vital to the health or well-being of your Mom and/or Dad. If he or she takes medication, be sure to pack more than enough for the entire trip and make sure you are able to access it at all times (do not put it in your checked luggage). Also, if your parent(s) requires specialty dementia or Alzheimer’s care, or becomes anxious in unfamiliar surroundings, pack familiar items from home to provide them with comfort as you travel.  You will want to do everything you can to ensure your Mom or Dad is as comfortable as possible to provide the highest level of quality care while away from their home and familiar surroundings.

  5. Arrange for caregiving shifts ahead of time. Although you may be the primary family caregiver at home, this is your vacation too and you deserve some time to relax from your caregiving responsibilities. Arrange for caregiving shifts among family members ahead of time. If you think you may need assistance during your vacation, consider bringing a professional caregiver with you for help during your travels. Caregivers from reliable Milwaukee home care agencies will be able to ensure consistency of care during your trip.  They can provide you with a highly trained and experienced individual to help your Mom or Dad with daily activities while encouraging overall health and well-being, even while on vacation.

Have additional questions about traveling with an elderly parent? Need a caregiver for an upcoming summer vacation? Contact a Care Manager today at 414-964-8000 and learn more about our flexible senior care options and find out how one of our well-matched, experienced caregivers can help your parent(s) live a longer, more purposeful, and healthier lifestyle.

5 Tips for Summer Travel with an Elderly Loved One | Home Care Assistance