Your elderly father still lives independently but hasn’t traveled much the past several years because of declining health. As a result, you’d like to take dad on a cross-country trip so you can both reconnect with relatives you haven’t seen for a while. Dad is set in his ways and can be cranky at times, so getting him there comfortably is going to take some planning and preparation. Whether it’s by car, ship, plane or train, traveling with a senior should go much more smoothly when taking these steps.

How Does Traveling Benefit Seniors?

A recent poll conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that nearly 90% of the seniors they surveyed felt that traveling regularly helped improve their sense of wellbeing. Other studies have determined that traveling benefits seniors in these ways:

Heart

Taking a trip keeps a senior more active, which exercises their heart and helps keep it stronger.

Cognitive

Traveling abroad gives them the chance to meet new people, learn new things, and explore new places outside of their normal daily routine. That stimulates brain activity that keeps the mind sharp and slows down cognitive decline.

Emotional

Social isolation has been linked to loneliness and a lower quality of life in the elderly, so it makes sense that interacting with others while traveling, including family and friends, has a positive effect on a senior’s emotional health.

Planning Your Trip

As a caregiver, here’s how to plan for the next trip with your loved one so that it’s a more enjoyable experience for the both of you:

Check with Their Doctor

Check with your loved one’s doctor to make sure they’re cleared to travel, and if there are any restrictions. Discuss any health conditions that could place them at risk while in certain places, for example at higher altitudes or in tropical climates.