Holidays with elderly parents
Family holidays can be one of the most memorable experiences we can share together.
When the generations gather, there are certainly special challenges, but the rewards (and the memories) don’t get much better when all goes well. Of course, all holidays take forward thinking, but when you have an elderly parent in the party extra planning has to occur to make it a success. Here are some things that should be taken into consideration
Keeping everyone happy
This is one of the most difficult tasks when arranging any holiday. Sometimes it can be hard to keep two people happy when they go away together never mind when you mix in lots of people spanning the age ranges. When you go away with elderly parents, it might be too much for them to be on holiday for more than five days or a week. Bear in mind that if you really want a fortnight away you can split the holiday so you can go off and do your own thing in the second week once your parents have been safely deposited back home.
Unless you’re the most laidback of travellers, airports are almost by their very nature a venue for stress-inducing breakdowns. Everything should be done with no room for error or delay, especially when it involves an elderly passenger. The security checks may be a fresh and unwelcome experience for them so they should wear shoes that will be simple to slip off and on if they are asked to remove them and the rules on liquids and what you should place on the conveyor belt should be explained to them fully ahead of time. If they need any extra assistance at the airport, you should alert the airline at least 48 hours in advance. And on the day, arrive well ahead of your check-in time.
If your parents live on the ground-floor, have a walk-in shower and hand rails at home, then they’re going to need all those things on holiday, too. Make sure the accommodation is going to meet their needs and talk to someone there beforehand rather than simply assuming all will be well from the property’s description. Most of us have at one time or another been surprised by the difference in what we’ve read in holiday literature and the reality on arriving.
If you normally head for a location that is out of town for cost reasons, this might be the one time to spend a little more. Elderly parents are obviously going to be less mobile and the cost of ferrying them around in taxis will mount up significantly when you’re away from the main thoroughfares, so it’s best to stay central and within easy walking distance from some attractions.
How was your experience of going on holiday with an elderly parent?
Silversurfer's Features Editor
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