Tips for traveling with elderly parents

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Travelling long distances, especially by air, becomes more challenging the older you get. The changes in climate, the long flight, and even the length of the walk to and from the departure gate can all take their toll.

If your elderly parents are planning to come to visit, you may be concerned about the effect on their wellbeing during the journey, especially if they are travelling alone. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure they remain safe and comfortable every step of the way, one of them being special mobile phones for seniors.

Inform the airline in advance

While your parents my not want to draw attention to their advanced years, doing so means the airline can make provisions to help them through security and arrange for transportation to take them through the terminal so they have less to walk to reach their gate.

Most airports have expedited security services for those aged over 75, and some have special lanes dedicated to those with disabilities. It may be worth checking in advance which services are offered by the airports closest to your parents, as it may be that flying from a site that is slightly further away could end up providing a more comfortable overall journey.

Check the state of their health

Family gatherings, such as the birth of a grandchild or the wedding or funeral of a relative or friend, may lead to elderly parents feeling they are obliged to make a trip. Though such conversations may be difficult, it is important to establish the state of the health of your parents before they make any kind of booking.

Airlines provide advice about a number of situations under which people should not fly and failing to abide by such guidelines could invalidate any insurance coverage your parents plan to make use of during their trip.

Parents with limited mobility are also at greater risk of conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, the risk of which is enhanced during a flight due to the lack of pressure, the high altitude and the fact that your parents are likely to be sitting still for an extended period of time.

Use a companion service

In an ideal world, you would be able to accompany your parents on every trip, but there made be sound practical reasons why they need to travel alone, at least in one direction. In such situations, you may want to consider making use of a travel companion service to facilitate their needs and address any concerns you may have about your parents having to deal with unexpected issues they may encounter.

The benefit of hiring a company such as Flying Angels is that not only do they provide a flight nurse to ensure care is provided throughout the duration of the flight, but that they provide a flight coordinator to handle all the logistics. This can be especially important if your friend or relative requires medical equipment, such as an oxygen tank, as such items can delay travel through security and other parts of the airport unless advanced notice has been received.

The coordinator will also have inside knowledge about the most comfortable and best routes and airlines to use in order ensure the passengers is as comfortable as possible at every stage of their journey.