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Summer Travel Plans for Caregivers

By Sheryl Leary

(Page 1 of 3)

Taking a successful vacation when you are a caregiver requires planning and coordination. Here is some information and questions to consider when planning your time away from home.

Vacationing With Your Loved One

Is the destination accessible for my loved one’s abilities?  Ensure that stairs are kept to a limit that is acceptable and have railings. Are doorways wide enough for a wheelchair or walker? Will the bathroom accommodate your routine?

Are the activities within my loved one’s capabilities? Sometimes less is more. Be aware that your loved one’s abilities may be different when not in the comfort of home. Allow time for recuperation from the travel before activities are planned.

Have you checked the latest security regulations for airlines, trains and buses? It is best to check with your transportation provider prior to your travel about what will be expected for security and/or inspection. Make sure all medications are in their original containers and anything liquid is kept in a clear separate bag and ready for inspection. Check with your doctor to see if your loved one’s pacemaker or implanted medical device can go through the X-ray process or if he or she will need a separate “pat-down inspection.” An excellent source of information for travelers is the Transportation Security Administration ( This website has information for travelers with disabilities/medical issues including those with pacemakers, diabetes, mobility and hearing issues.

When going through security at airports, if a separate pat-down inspection is necessary, you may request a private room and caregivers can stay with their loved one.

Alert your travel provider prior to your travel of any special needs your loved one will have. Airlines can provide wheelchairs, or cart transportation through the airport. Special accommodations are also needed for individuals traveling with oxygen.

Remember that elders are more sensitive to extreme heat and more prone to dehydration. Ask your loved one’s doctor about any concerns he may have for fluid intake based on the climate you will be visiting.


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