Tips and Tricks for Traveling with an Older Adult from the Aging Life Care Association®

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Summer is the time for vacations. Learn ways to make travel easy and fun as we age.

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Summer is a wonderful time for traveling. Neither age nor health should keep you from going on a vacation. With some thoughtful planning, a trip to visit with family and friends or to visit specific destinations can be a joy. Some tips to help make traveling with an older adult stress-free and enjoyable include:

  • Make sure your accommodations are centrally located to your plans and easy to reach. Most hotels offer special arrangements for senior travelers, so don’t be afraid to call and ask.
  • Ensure all your means of transportation are senior and disability friendly. Ask for disabled traveler rows on airplanes, buses, or trains; airports can provide elder/disabled assistance to reaching terminals and boarding gates.
  • When packing for your elder loved one, be sure to remember the necessary medications and medical supplies and pack for longer than your anticipated stay for backup. Don’t forget your prescription glasses, sunglasses and extra batteries for hearing aids.
  • Be sure to include layered clothing, comfortable shoes and a hat. As necessary, pack incontinence supplies, wipes and barrier creams.
  • Older bodies have more difficulty regulating and adapting to temperature changes, especially in the dog days of summer. Have your older loved one stay cool and protected from the sun by wearing a 50+ SPF sunscreen, staying in the shade when possible, and wearing light colored clothing which absorbs less heat. Do tours early or later in the day to avoid the most intense heat periods.
  • Be familiar with signs of dehydration and heat stroke which can include confusion, dizziness, irritability, headaches, and weakness. If not improving with hydration and rest, seek medical attention as needed.
  • If you are traveling to a foreign country with a senior loved one, be sure you’re up to date on specific vaccinations for that country and pack a supply of travel medications such as anti-nausea, anti-diarrheal and anti-inflammatory medications. Have a copy of important health documents with you, such as a health care proxy and travel medical insurance.

Aging Life Care Professionals®, also known as geriatric care managers, can also assist individuals and families in planning for travel success and use their experience to help clients anticipate and address potential obstacles. These experts can bring in resources and services to support a variety of needs. You can find an Aging Life Care Professional in your area at

    ABOUT the Aging Life Care Association® (ALCA): ALCA (formerly known as the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers) was formed in 1985 to advance dignified care for older adults and their families in the United States. Aging Life Care Professionals® have extensive training and experience working with older adults, people with disabilities, and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. They assist families in the search for a suitable nursing home placement or extended care if the need occurs. The practice of Aging Life Care™ and the role of care providers have captured a national spotlight, as generations of Baby Boomers age in the United States and abroad. For more information or to access a nationwide directory of Aging Life Care Professionals, please visit

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Samantha Colaianni, Manager of Marketing and Membership

C. Taney Hamill, CEO
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