Vacations When Caring for the Elderly

May 29, 2013

Tips on how to relax and have fun traveling with aging seniors who have special health needs

SAN DIEGO (April 23, 2013)—Mission Home Care, which offers non-medical services in the home, explains how to maximize enjoyment while traveling this summer with the elderly who require special care. The key to a successful trip is advanced preparation and/or hiring a professional caregiver for extra help.

“Vacations are extremely important for family bonding and mental recharging—even more so when you care for an aging parent,” said Kerry Pawl, Co-Founder and Director of Mission Home Care. “However, many people avoid it all together due to the stress they think will occur when traveling with frail seniors—this doesn’t have to be the case.”

Below are some things to remember when planning a vacation:

  • All medications should be filled and up-to-date
  • Copies of prescriptions should be brought on the trip in case any issues should arise
  • Take prescriptions in carry-on suitcases and a backup set in the checked luggage
  • Many domestic destinations are handicapped accessible, but this is not always the case when traveling internationally; so call ahead to plan and ask about accommodations in the resort or hotel along with the surrounding area
  • Bring doctors’ contact information and medical documentation including a power of attorney
  • When traveling with someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it is good to stay consistent with travel plans and to start out with a shorter trip to see how it goes at first

“You also have the option to bring a professional caregiver on the trip with you,” said Pawl. “It can be affordable and completely worth it for the extra assurance and assistance so you can truly enjoy your trip.”

Traveling with wheelchairs, checking walking equipment at the airport, and seniors dealing with incontinence are just some of the challenges that may arise during vacations. It can be more difficult in a new routine and environment.

Paying a caregiver a certain number of hours a day to help assist in these areas will go a long way. Caregivers are well trained in bathing, toilet assistance, and will help decrease the risk of falling in a new environment.

If the senior in your life is not up for traveling, it is still very important for the caregiving family to be able to get away. 

“You should consider hiring professional care to stay back with your aging family member, so you can enjoy a stress-free trip,” said Jennifer Robinson, Co-Founder and Director of Mission Home Care. “Furthermore, if your grandparents or parents live in another state but would like to visit, hire a caregiver to fly with him or her to ensure their safety and help during the visit.”

For more information on hiring care for trips please call 888-871-0766 or visit

About Mission Healthcare:

Mission Healthcare is a clinically owned and operated organization whose services include Mission Home Health, Mission Hospice, and Mission Home Care.  By providing a continuum and continuity of care, Mission Healthcare strives to have a positive impact on the lives of patients, their families, and their healthcare partners no matter what their needs may be. Mission Healthcare utilizes all available resources to provide the highest level of care possible to their patients, all while in the optimal healing environment, the home.

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