Some of us like surprises, some of us don’t. If someone said to me, “you have one day to pack your bags, we’re going on a road trip,” I would, of course, be grateful and excited but it wouldn’t be my ideal situation

I’m the type of person that likes to be prepared and to have advance notice on big events, family gatherings, and vacations. I like to anticipate and plan for the event or trip, and I like to have something to look forward to.

In some cases, many people not only desire the advance notice, it is sometimes essential especially when it comes to travel and when seniors are involved. While retirees may seem like they have all the time in the world, they are often quite busy and have different aspects of their lives that they need to organize before they can pack their bags and head out on an adventure with family or friends.

As the official first day of summer is nearly upon us, many people are making plans for their summer vacation and this often includes grandma or grandpa, a close aunt or uncle or dear friend of the family.

You might be planning for a week at your favourite lake roughing it in the family cottage or it could be a two-week road trip to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Regardless of the destination, it is ideal to give yourself ample time to make all the necessary arrangements for your elderly loved one. Some of the things to be mindful of are:

  • Ensure that prescriptions for medications are filled and that there is enough for the duration of the trip. Also, double check right before you leave to make sure that all medications and medical apparatuses have been packed!
  • Make accommodations for the seniors’ pooch or kitty at a kennel or make sure that pets are welcome at the lodgings that you have booked if they are travelling with you.
  • Inform neighbors or staff at the retirement or independent living home of your travel plans so that they are aware that your family member will be away.
  • Check the appointment calendar and reschedule medical, hair and all other appointments for a later date. Be sure to inform non-profit organizations and other groups that the person may have made commitments to volunteering and assisting with fundraising.
  • With your loved one, make a list of things to pack. This way, important items like reading glasses and good walking shoes aren’t left behind at home and then an added expense is incurred to replace the item.
  • Finally, be flexible with your schedule. Everyone (including seniors) need travel breaks to stretch their legs, use the facilities or get a bit of fresh air. A few breaks can keep everyone feeling refreshed, energized and in a positive mood.

If planned properly, family vacations can meet the needs of those of all ages. The young can entertain the elderly; the elderly can entertain the young and everyone can enjoy making special memories, enjoying time together and being adventurous as a family.