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Cut Through the Stress When Traveling with Seniors

By Sandy Schroeder

In case you have not noticed, holiday air travel has become even more difficult than it used to be. Everyone has their pet complaints, but the whole situation jumps up another notch if you are traveling with aging relatives.

APlaceForMom.com took a look at this issue recently and came up with some very helpful tips to avoid potential hazards of medical or mobility limitations. If you are planning trips with parents or other aging relatives, it's crucial to plan ahead to make sure everybody travels comfortably and safely.

Here are some ways to improve the trip and cut the stress.

Allow plenty of time - Expand the time from home to the airport, and allow extra time for checking in to encompass walkers or wheelchairs and comfort stops.

Verify IDs before you head to the airport - For seniors who no longer drive, state issued IDs or passports can move them through security. Make sure all IDs are current and include a photo. Without this current identification you could be tied up as the seniors answer questions to verify their identity.

Field all assistance needs early - Depending on the airline, available wheelchairs and extra boarding time may vary. Call your airline and completely pin down the drill. I was advised to request wheelchairs during the flight. When I requested one for a senior to make a connecting flight I was told there were only a limited number of chairs available. A wheelchair was provided, but a lot of stress could have been avoided.

Get the scoop on equipment and medications - All canes, walkers and wheelchairs have to be screened.  Alert the airline if your senior cannot stand independently so they can be comfortably screened.  Personal aerosol medications, gels and liquids can be declared at the checkpoint and presented for screening.

Pack lightly and tightly - If possible, travel with just carry-on baggage, and use a roomy handbag to carry all of the meds and accessories your senior will need. Instead of checking luggage, ship other items, such as extra clothing or gifts, to your destination.

Do the contact homework - Print out your parents' doctors' phone numbers and research contact information for hospitals and urgent-care clinics available at your destination. 

All of this may sound like a hassle, but it will seem like an absolute breeze compared to the delays, dangers and difficulties of not having done the homework.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Morrisville, N.C.

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