Tips On Handling Travel Problems For Elderly People With Medical Issues
Caring for an elderly parent or other loved one presents many challenges. Family caregivers regard this as a labor of love, but being a caregiver is not easy. If it becomes necessary for an elderly person to travel a long distance, the difficulties can be overwhelming.
Airline Policies on Supplemental Oxygen
It will be necessary to give the airline advance notice before making a reservation and certain seats will not be available. Airlines, per FAA regulations, will not allow an oxygen tank to be transported. Airlines normally permit someone who needs extra oxygen to travel with a Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC). However, it's not as easy as just showing up at the gate with the POC and continuing on to the plane.
A letter from the patient's doctor (Physician's Consent Form) is mandatory and must be kept available at all times, as well as more than enough batteries for the POC. Check with the specific airline for their requirements on approved POC models. In addition, the POC must be in excellent condition and fit under the seat. (If a wheelchair will be needed, don't forget to arrange for that as well.)
If more than one airline is involved, make arrangements with each. However, an unexpected flight cancellation and transfer to a different airline could prove difficult.
Long-Distance Travel for a Patient with Alzheimer's
Even a short trip to keep a doctor's appointment can be overwhelming for someone with dementia. Careful planning is essential. It's recommended that each hotel or other planned stop be contacted in advance if there are any special requirements. The turmoil of airports is particularly distressing to dementia patients, and even encountering different restaurants and bathrooms at every stop is upsetting.
Professional Medical Transport
Many caregivers have found medical transport is the easiest and safest method of long distance elderly transport. The transport company handles all arrangements, but most importantly, this method of transport is very comfortable and safe for the elderly person. Comfortable beds are provided and a bathroom is nearby. Trained medical personnel ensure that there will be no interruption in necessary respiratory treatment, medications, and dressing changes.
For many seniors with physical or mental issues, medical transportation is the preferred way to travel. There are many options available for either land or air transport. Caregivers can relax, knowing that their loved one will be well cared for and will arrive safely at the destination.