West Knoxville: 865-357-2288 | North Knoxville: 865-339-4422
Maryville: 865-980-8810 | Tullahoma: 931-222-4800

West Knoxville: 865-357-2288
North Knoxville: 865-339-4422
Maryville: 865-980-8810
Tullahoma: 931-222-4800

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), travel is critical to mental health. Not only that; it’s just plain FUN! So, if you think you or your aging loved one are past the age of safe travel, think again. There are ways to still experience the adventure and challenge of an occasional excursion!

Pack Well

Nine out of ten adults travelling by airplane are carrying medications. For years we have been told to always carry those in a purse or carry-on, lest something happen to our checked luggage. This remains true. In addition, many seniors need to travel with medical supplies (syringes, IV bags, etc.) and think this prohibits them from airline travel. This is not the case! But you will save some time and headache at the airport if you carefully review the TSA rules for how exactly they must be packed so that they arrive safely with you.

In addition to medications and supplies, be sure to pack any identifying paperwork as well. If you have a medical condition the airlines or travel venue needs to be aware of, be sure to carry the appropriate notification card in case you should need any care enroute.

Prepare Well

Physically that is! Your independence is critical, but even more critical is your safety. If a cane, walker, or wheelchair is part of your everyday (or even occasional!) life at home, it MUST come with you when travelling.

Hopefully pandemic numbers are behind us, but the CDC still encourages individuals 50 years and older to wear masks when travelling. Any other precautions your doctor encourages you to take against COVID, Flu, and Pneumonia should be heeded as well. If you’re traveling by air, realize that high altitude increases a chance for respiratory diseases as well as dehydration. Again, consider wearing a mask through the entire travel process (airport as well as airplane), and drink lots of water before and during your flight. If you need to make a trip to the restroom, alert the flight attendant to accompany you to the restroom if you’re the least bit wary of sure footing.

Choose Well

When selecting hotel accommodations, make sure they provide exactly what you need. If you are in a wheelchair and use a handheld shower, be sure to reserve a room with handicap access. Bed comfort is also essential. Inadequate rest while travelling will increase risk of falls and illness. It is not slightly inappropriate to ask what type of mattresses are provided…and shop around until it is adequate. If you’re young of mind but getting on in years, take no risks; be insistent when visiting friends and family that your nights of the air mattress are behind you.

Good preparation will help to ensure that there can still be many travel years before you, no matter what your age and station in life! If you’re considering a trip, be sure to ask all the right questions and bon voyage!