Charlotte’s mother, Louise (age 76), had been talking about visiting her relatives in Montana for some time. Louise had grown up there but had moved to Ohio with her husband a few years after they married. The two of them had driven to Montana several times throughout their lives, taking their children with them. Charlotte had many happy memories of those road trips with her parents. But, now that her dad had passed, her mom hadn’t been able to visit her relatives.
Charlotte decided to surprise her mom with a road trip. Before the trip, she planned her route and packed their bags. Unfortunately, when it came down to the trip, Charlotte discovered she hadn’t taken some of her mom’s special needs into consideration and they were woefully unprepared.
There’s nothing quite like taking a family road trip. But, when you’re taking an older adult with you, a road trip can be a little more challenging. It requires a little extra preparation and you’ll need to pack some extra items to keep them comfortable and safe. Below are a few items to pack.
If you’re planning a 7-day trip, you may think you need to take just 7 days-worth of medicine. In truth, you need to pack more. You never know what might happen during the course of the trip. You may end up staying a little longer than planned. Or, they might lose a pill down the sink or misplace a bottle. To avoid losing all their medications, it’s a good idea to portion them out by day and place them in separate containers.
When putting together a playlist for the ride, take the senior’s taste in music into consideration. It’s okay to play some music you like but try to include some of their favorites as well. That way you avoid arguing over music or having to ride in silence.
Important Phone Numbers
Be sure to take along contact information for the older adult’s doctor and other medical professionals just in case something happens during the trip. If you should find yourself in the emergency room, it can be helpful for the hospital’s staff to be able to contact the senior’s regular medical providers.
Seniors may need to stop more often to use the bathroom or stretch their legs. And, they may move more slowly on stops. You’ll need a little extra patience to avoid arguments and keep the trip pleasant.
A home care provider can assist your aging relative to pack for a road trip. Home care providers can assist with the laundry to make sure that everything the senior wants to pack is clean. Home care providers can also ensure that the older adult takes enough medication along with them. They can also help the senior to create a list of some of the music they like so you can include them on your playlist.