“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
Traveling has been a lifelong dream for all us. A break from the monotony of daily life, jobs that vow to drain the daylights of you and responsibilities to some extent, a holiday provides respite to people with just that. While some prefer the secluded mountains, some the cool breeze of the sea, some the religious expedition to shrines around the world. But often the holidays aren’t possible, more so for the elderly of today who didn’t have the luxury of well-built roads, flights and hotel bookings over internet, then. Earning and providing for their family took precedence over holidays for majority of the working class population.
Now with the advancing age, many give u on their dream because of their age. The fact remains that with their age the hospitalitiy and travel sector has also increased in leaps and bounds in the recent times which makes travelling and holidaying for the elderly a reality.
Advantages of travelling for elderly
- Seniors have the flexibility to choose where they go, when and for how long. They can book a big multi-stop trip that lasts weeks, months, or even years, and coordinate plans to meet their families (and grandchildren) on a stopover somewhere warm destination.
- Travel discounts- Senior citizens are eligible for upto 50% discount on economy fare for domestic travel in countries like India. Even railways and bus service provide discounts to the seniors. They can save 20% off rental cars (and endless other discounts).
- Rejuvenating Insights: Travelling exposed them to more new people, cultures, and lifestyles than you are living in your homeland all the time. With all the newness in your life, you’re also opened to new insights, ways of seeing the world and living, which often gives people a new purpose for their lives.
- Things like navigating new cities, exploring museums, having conversations with new people, practicing new languages and seeing new sights can flex the mental muscles, keeping seniors’ brains active and engaged.
- Seniors can also benefit from the physical activity that often accompanies travel. Whether it’s walking around museums, jaunting around new cities to see the sights or taking public transit, there are lots of physical challenges that accompany travel.
Tips for senior citizens for travelling.
Pre-trip planning for seniors
- Consult with your travel agent for suggestions. For example, many tour operators specialize in accommodating the needs of travelling seniors.
- Find out about the medical facilities in the areas you will be visiting.
- If you are concerned about your health, arrange to go on a package tour.
Pre-trip medical check-ups
- Consult with your doctor for a complete medical check-up. This is especially important if you have coronary heart disease, hypertension or any other chronic condition, or if you have recently undergone surgery or experienced a heart attack.
- Discuss any particular health concerns you may have, such as dietary changes and the possible impact of different eating habits on your specific condition.
- People with diabetes will need medical advice on how to safely stagger their medications to fit a different time zone.
Regular medications for seniors
- Take enough regular medication with you to last the entire trip. Some drugs may not be available overseas. If the medication you regularly take requires syringes (such as insulin-dependent diabetes), take enough syringes to last the trip.
- You should obtain a written and signed note from your doctor detailing the prescribed medications you are taking with you.
- If you are taking over-the-counter medication with you, then you should ask your doctor to add these to the list of prescribed medications.
- Make sure your carry-on bag contains everything you will need for the duration of the flight like medications.
- Pack a spare pair of glasses.
- It may be easier if you use a suitcase with wheels.
Taking care of yourself while on holidays
- If you are unsure of the water supply, drink bottled water.
- To reduce the risk of food poisoning, avoid food buffets, seafood, undercooked meats, peeled and raw fruits and vegetables, and unpasteurized dairy products. Don’t buy food from street vendors.
- Don’t draw up a jam-packed itinerary for each and every day of your holiday – arrange for plenty of rest breaks, particularly in hot weather.
With these things in your mind, plan a trip with your elderly family member, bring happiness to each other through travelling. It’s no surprise that older travelers need a bit more time to get around, but a slower pace often lends itself to a more fulfilling experience.
Reference : www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au