Holiday travel is upon us. With the slew of celebrations coming, it is sometimes difficult to plan for holidays with elderly parents – whether flying home to them, or bringing them to you. ADL Caring Companions – a company that we have been taking an in-depth look at over the last few months – knows how difficult this time can be. In fact, they are dedicated to making sure that your elderly parent can live an independent life for as long as possible in their own homes, and they do this by having the knowledge and understanding to help in all situations.
ADL Caring Companions is made up of men and women who are the definition of the word ‘assistance.’ They help with things like driving, dispensing medication, light cooking, light cleaning – but most of all they provide the friendship that is missing from a great many of our seniors’ lives. And with holiday vacations being planned, ADL Caring Companions is mindful of the risks and issues that crop up, and provide tips and information on how to deal with the ins-and-outs of senior travel.
Everyone is preoccupied with making sure all the holiday details are in place – meals, gifts, guests, family arrivals, etc. But what everyone should also remember is that this is a great opportunity to ‘check on’ aging parents. This is a time to celebrate and be together without raising any anxiety levels in your family, but remember to take the time to really ‘check on’ your folks this holiday season. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen them and things have changed, you need to be able to take in what’s different. Of course, all children would rather just imagine that things are the same as they’ve always been, but now is the best time to look closely and take it all in. Things do change gradually over time so make some mental observations while you have your elderly parents with you, and find ways that you can offer encouragement and support where it’s needed.
ADL Caring Companions is the company that knows all about support. As this writer has stated before and will continue to state because it is the greatest point about this premier home health care agency: ADL was built upon the fact that home health care should not be a ‘cold’ process. This company calls themselves Caring Companions for the simple fact that they wanted to ‘gift’ elderly clients with “caring companions” – true friends – not people who would simply arrive on time to do the job they were assigned. Although that type of worker is skilled, ADL believes that the actual heart and soul necessary to not only do the “job” but also to realize that the job includes a real-live person who needs more than just routine home health care services, is something far different. .
ADL Caring Companions also understand the holiday season and the issues it can cause for the elderly. This is the time where families should use their time together for that fun storytelling and recording of family traditions, taking pictures, watching home movies, and putting all the generations together so that the family unit remains strong and your children have great stories to pass on to theirs. Personally, I am honored to have had time with my grandparents, and I have made sure that all of their stories have been passed down to their great grandchild, making sure that they are never forgotten.
Which brings me to the first point to remember this holiday season. If one of your parents has passed, make sure that the holiday is spent still ‘including’ them in the family traditions by talking about them. Look over the ‘family treasures’ and mementos with your other family members and celebrate lives!
Now when it comes to travel for senior citizens, make sure to consider everything about the accommodations necessary for your elderly parent such as rooms, medications, and the best way to look after their safety while visiting. Now if circumstances prevent you from being with your aging parents for the holidays, be creative and use your imagination for being together – from phone calls to letters to the world of Skype – there are many ways to be together even if located far apart. And if your elderly parent has an ADL Caring Companion to help them out at home, you will feel a great deal of stress and anxiety taken off your shoulders knowing that they are safe and not alone.
But if they are traveling to you, make sure to educate your parents on any special travel tips that they will need to know, such as check-ins, x-ray scanning regulations, things such as this that that could affect their health. If there are any issues with walking, be sure and request special assistance from your airline when you make the reservation. Travel for senior citizens is something that the airlines can help with such as the fact that you can get a wheelchair, or motorized cart to help Mom or Dad travel the long distances across airports. If a connecting flight is required, make sure that you check the time in between and allow at least ninety minutes in a large airport for the time they need to get off the plane, restroom visits, etc., and always remember that time can be lost in airport delays, so try to take everything into consideration when helping your parents come for a visit.
There are other physical challenges when traveling for senior citizens as well, such as if they have problems with hearing, or use a hearing aid. Airports are very noisy and the myriad of sounds are already distorted. For a senior citizen traveling and attempting to understand announcements via loud speakers can be very disconcerting. And with time being an issue during airline travel, make sure your folks have a contingency plan for meals and medication. Many medications must be taken on strict schedules, and before or after a meal or with food. Work with them to coordinate medication and meal times with scheduled travel times, and have alternate plans worked out for delays. Make sure they take the medications they will need for a couple of days with them on board and not packed away in a suitcase. Also, make sure they have a list of all the medications and medical cards, their home doctors and drug store phone numbers, in case there is an emergency need for replacements.
In the end, ADL Caring Companions wants you to simply think ahead. From the best travel dates (and the worst), to hotel accommodations that meet your elderly parents’ needs, to time-saving techniques – all of these factors should be taken into account if bringing your parents to you this holiday season. And, remember, the only thing that matters is the family and enjoying a true celebration that will make even more memories to pass down.
Until Next Time, Everybody.
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