Baby Boomers have spent most of their lives providing for us. Now that they’re retired it’s time for them to hit the road and travel. As they’re preparing for their trip alone, or with you, help them make the most of their plans. Here are a few tips that you can use to make those journeys healthier and safer.
Help them to Protect their Skin
Even though Boomers may still have that adventurous spirit, their immune system is not what it used to be. Whether they are traveling to a different country, or just traveling to the beach, our parents need to take precautions against insects. Mosquitoes can carry diseases that our parents will struggle to fight off at this point. Furthermore, make sure that they get their shots before traveling to island destinations. Taking this step can help prevent getting rashes, irritation, or major diseases, all from a minor insect bite. Simply spraying a little insect repellant on before they leave the hotel room will add some protection.
Human skin becomes thinner over time. Boomers are now prone to developing problems from sun exposure. Never forget to pack sunscreen for a trip. SPF of 45 or higher is suggested to lessen the detrimental effects of UV rays. Sunscreen should be reapplied throughout the day, and at least 20 minutes before stepping outside. This Huffington post article outlines the benefits of sunscreen.
Create a Safe Haven
For many travelers, baby boomer or not, it is very common to seek warm conditions. Whether the stay is temporary or permanent, make sure to create an environment that is safe and healthy for older adults. If your parents will be staying in a hotel, notify the front desk of any medical issues that may be of a concern, and perhaps request that staff occasionally check in on your loved ones. Additionally, consider creating a phone call schedule, finding someone nearby to visit him or her, or think about purchasing a notification tool like the medical alert system found here. If the older adults feel insulted that you think such actions are necessary, reassure them that it is for your own piece of mind and that you don’t doubt their capabilities.
How many times have you left the house and, surprised to find it raining, turn right back around to grab your umbrella. Now, imagine that you didn’t have one or a rain coat to keep you dry? Would you walk through the rain while shivering to reach your destination or simply cancel your plans all together? This predicament isn’t too uncommon for vacationers that fail to account for the change in weather. Therefore, equip older travelers with multiple layers of clothing, from light sweaters to warm jackets. Not only will this make their journey more pleasant, but also will help them to circumvent illness.
Help them Eat Well
Traveling does not have to mean eating unhealthy foods. Create a list of restaurants or cafés with healthy choices on the menu. If the diners have any dietary restrictions, it is advised that you call ahead to ask what specific dishes would be recommended, or whether the cooks could even accommodate the health needs. Packing snack bars can be beneficial, as blood sugar can rapidly drop during times in which food vendors are not readily available. Treat them to a water filtering water bottle (like this) so they can have consistent access to clean water. Dehydration is an all-too-easy trap to fall into for people of all ages but, for individuals in their twilight years, it can be deadly.
Though they may be diminutive in size, the presence of the proper medications can make a large impact upon the quality of a senior’s trip. Make sure that all pills are packed, and make sure to have multiple stashes scattered throughout their different bags in case a piece of luggage is stolen. Do not make the mistake of failing to pack extras; you never know whether your loved one will experience flight delays and may have to extend their travels longer than expected.
Your parents had to let you go once, now it’s your turn. Follow these tips and things will be okay.