Traveling with a Care-receiver

I just returned from a family wedding in another state.  Watching my caregiving sisterprepare and work with my mother who is blind and wheelchair bound was inspirational . I thought this would be a perfect time to share some of her travel tips. 

My sister is always well prepared and so gentle with our Mom. Preplanning is essential!

  1. Prepare a travel route, planning rest stops, and toileting breaks and some sightseeing stops to take a respite break. Give this itinerary to another family member.
  1. Take along an updated medical history, primary care doctors contact information, prescriptions and insurance cards.
  1. Carry emergency information in the glove box…especially where you both reside and your destination, family members contact information and any allergies either of you might have.. Consider purchasing a medic alert bracelet for yourself as a caregiver and one for your care receiver.
  1. Carry your cell phone at all times. My sister has had to call for help from the restroom!
  1. Always have a “To Go” bag, have several disposal under garments, wipes, disposable gloves, wash cloth, hand towel and light sweater or jacket. Also have a “Snack bag”with bottled water/juice and simple finger food (fruit, energy bars, pretzels, etc)
  1. Take along any durable medical equipment such as canes, walkers or toilet risers/seats. (Or rent them at your destination). The house we rented was NOT handicapped assessable which made bathing and transferring mom more difficult and a group task.
  1. Don’t be afraid to ask other for assistance or a caregiver break.
  1. Try to keep your care receiver on a their natural schedule and use the drive time to reminisce and laugh. Both are good for the soul.
  1. My mother is always so worried about being a burden, take time to reassure your care receiver that they are a welcomed guest and the trip would not be the same without them.

If you are traveling by plane use all of the above but remember to pack light and limit your luggage if possible..  Also when dressing for the airport remember to wear shoes and sweaters that can be removed easily for security screening.

Do you have any travel tips to share? Please post them.

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