The days of quarantine have been long and tedious. We are all rather home fatigued at this time.
Caregivers in assisted living homes are tasked with the responsibility of advising seniors and their families about travel.
Many seniors have plans to travel as retirees, but the pandemic has changed everything. Now a complete halt has occurred – seniors especially are on lockdown and trying to stay safe in assisted living homes. But many seniors are still seeking safe ways to satisfy their travel needs.
The truth of the matter is staying at home is the absolute safest plan. However, if travel is a must, make it a safecation. Travel with awareness of more than the sights, but what is happening in the areas you desire to visit.
How can traveling be done safely amid the present pandemic?
Tips for A Safecation
- Minimize transportation exposure.
- Visit the CDC’s website to know what the recent COVID-19 numbers are in the area(s) you desire to visit.
- Make sure your accommodations are safe and appropriate measures are practiced to ensure safety.
- Do not travel too far. Stay close to home in case travel becomes restricted. You do not want to be stranded somewhere for an unspecified time period.
- Understand your personal health risk. As a senior, if you have any underlying health conditions make sure you are fully aware of the risks associated with travel.
Although not advised, traveling is possible, if done wisely and safely. Make sure to prioritize health first and everything else second.
With that being the guideline, read on and discover helpful information for traveling during the pandemic as a senior.
TIPS TO STAYING INFORMED
As a senior, understanding the rapidly shifting healthy environment requires having information at your fingertips. Accessing the U.S. State Department website will provide any and all travel advisories, restrictions and guidelines. For a more travel friendly website, Kayak provides information pertaining to border restrictions, airport and state regulations as well as information pertaining to types of events and activities.
Lastly, do not forget the CDC’s website. Here you will find specific information pertaining to the pandemic.
6 GUIDELINES FOR HYGIENE FOR THE PANDEMIC
Seniors should be exceptionally careful to abide by good hygiene practices. Be certain these practices are not simply relegated to travel, but a part of everyday living. In order to mitigate the spread of this virus, hygiene is essential.
- Wear a face mask in public or in the presence of others.
- Wash your hands and then again, wash your hands.
- Use disposable hand gloves in public.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth, especially in public.
- Do everything possible to maintain 6 feet of distance between your senior and others.
- Cough into the bend of your arm, not your hands.
FORGET ABOUT CRUISE LINES FOR A WHILE
Cruising should be last on the list of travel options. While a most enjoyable venture, cruising during the pandemic is too risky. The No Sail Order was enacted and then canceled based upon large outbreaks, but the risk is no different. Presently, most voyages are suspended due to safety concerns. However, there are certain voyages that are able to continue.
2021 is promising for cruise lines, but still dangerous for seniors. It is recommended that seniors avoid cruising until herd immunity is achieved with proper vaccinations.
TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY?
If cruising is to be avoided, travel by air should be as well. The only positive aspect of air travel over cruising is the time frame. However, other risks are involved:
- The inability to social distance.
- Crowded airlines and airports.
- Unavoidable exposure to infected persons with such large crowds.
If a senior absolutely must travel by air, make the flight as short as possible. Be sure to wear a face mask at all times. Keep disinfecting wipes with you so that cleaning seats, rails, doorknobs, toilet areas and sinks is possible.
Also, be sure to keep hand sanitizer with you. When washing in warm water is not possible, cleanse the hands with sanitizer. As soon as warm water and soap are available, wash the hands completely.
SHOULD FAMILY MEMBERS TAKE SENIORS IN ASSISTED LIVING ON ROAD TRIPS?
Taking a road trip is preferred because much of the variables associated with travel by land, sea, or air are eradicated. The absolute safest way to travel is by car.
Taking a road trip by car or some other recreational vehicle is growing in popularity amongst seniors. Boomers love the control a road trip provides and the safety of traveling this way makes traveling less stressful and risky.
As with any other form of travel, ensure to wear a face mask as soon as you depart from the vehicle and find yourself surrounded or in the presence of others. Also, keep those disinfectant wipes in your back pocket so that using public restrooms does not present a significant risk.
Paper towels are essential as well and can be used to open doors and turn on faucets. Bring your own food. The picplumbing.com/ services need to be contacted for their repair.
It saves money and can easily be stored in a cooler. Utilize a credit card to pay for gas, food, and other items. Lastly, keep the vehicle, cellular phones, tablets clean at all times and enjoy the ride.
The road trip should also consider the following:
- Considering distance during these times is important. Instead of embarking on a long road trip, consider a weekender or an overnight within a 100-mile radius of where you live.
- Consider taking a day trip or two or three. Begin striking items from your “senior bucket list” and create a “backyard bucket list”. Visit all local landmarks and attractions in your own town, city or state.
- Consider doing a “dash-n-dine”. Pick up food from your favorite restaurants and take it home with you to conclude your daily adventure.
How to Stay Safe on Road Trips?
Planning is key to safe traveling during the pandemic You may consider hiring nemt or Limo Rental Solutions so that your seniors can feel luxurious and comfortable during the trip. AAA can be a great resource for road trippers. Visit their website for specific information about the area you desire to visit. It is also recommended that seniors traveling remember to:
- Make hotel/motel/Airbnb accommodations prior to leaving home.
- Check destination advisory.
- Ensure roads are open, especially if traveling during the winter months.
- Make sure the car is serviced properly.
- Make sure the car has up-to-date registration and inspection verification.
While the above mentioned seem to be common sense to a certain extent, much of these items have been affected by the pandemic.
Many vehicles are not properly registered due to restrictions at government facilities throughout the nation. Many cars need to be serviced, especially if those vehicles have been sitting for a month or two.
The most important thing is the safety of your senior. While traveling is a possibility, is it a necessity? Be wise so that life can be enjoyed post-pandemic.
TRAVEL VIRTUALLY IN YOUR ASSISTED LIVING HOME
Technology has made exploration a virtual reality. That’s right, travel by nano-byte from the luxury of your computer. Prior to the pandemic, exploration was just beginning to develop virtually, but since the pandemic, it has grown exponentially. Consider visiting the following sites and displaying the tours on the TVs in your residential assisted living home:
- The White House
- National Parks
- National Museums
- Cultural Landmarks
- International Tours
- The Alaskan Outback
- Concerts, Musicals, and Theatrical Performances
Yes, it is absolutely possible to do these types of events while seated comfortably in your favorite armchair. Welcome to 21st century travel.
TIP SHEET: SAFE TRAVEL TIPS FOR OLDER ADULTS
Regardless of the mode of travel, make sure to follow these recommendations provided by the American Geriatric Society. Safety need not be compromised to have an experience of a lifetime.
- Plan ahead for potential healthcare needs.
- Make sure all vaccinations are up to date.
- Inform your healthcare provider of your travel plans.
- Update your medication list. Make sure medications taken at specific times are taken safely if you will be in a different time zone.
- Make sure you have contact information for your pharmacist and doctor.
- If your travels will expose you to new foods, find out if those foods will affect your medications in any way.
- Compression stockings may be necessary to prevent thrombosis.
- A good pair of walking/running sneakers will be invaluable.
- Stay well hydrated with water. Avoid soda or coffee especially while traveling.
- Pay for everything with a credit card. Avoid cash at all costs.
TIP TO SAFE RESTROOM BREAKS
Enjoying the road trip will certainly mean stopping at rest stops, filling stations or truck stops. Yikes! These places prior to the pandemic, if not kept emphatically clean, were petri dishes for all sorts of bacteria, fungus, and viruses. With the presence of COVID-19 upon our shores, it behooves seniors to be extra careful at these places.
Do the following when stopping to fill the car with fuel or to use the restroom:
- Wear a face mask.
- Put on disposable gloves.
- Take disinfecting wipes with you.
- Use paper towels to protect your hands, if gloves are not being worn.
- Wash your hands.
- Do not put your hands in your face under any circumstance.
Today, many public restrooms have become touchless. Sensors trigger toilet flushing, water flowing and even soap dispensing. However, if a sensor is broken or absent, protect yourself with the above listed measures.
DINING OUT WITH PRECAUTIONS
This is the fun part of traveling – dinner time. How can you eat out in a pandemic? You don’t. You order-in.
Would you believe 5-star restaurants are providing Chateaubriand to take home? Isn’t this wonderful. So, traveling to a nearby city to enjoy a top listed restaurant may still be possible if you don’t mind picking up the order and taking it to your hotel room.
If you don’t want to pick it up, Uber Eats, DoorDash or some other delivery service will gladly assist you. Seniors should also understand that many popular chain restaurants are taking orders via their app. Make sure to download your favorites on your cellular phone so that you may access these places safely.
The CDC has stated to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the safest option for dining out is to utilize the “drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curb-side pick-up.”
Seated dining is riskier, even with tables spaced 6 feet apart because of being indoors. Therefore, find a way to take it with you.
KEEPING TRAVEL ACCOMMODATIONS CLEAN AND SAFE
Hotel stays during the pandemic are quite different from the “good ‘ole days.” It is imperative seniors understand the lay of the land prior to departing home.
First of all, exiting the highway and picking a hotel may not be an option. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
Also, you may need to know if your hotel is a local COVID-19 quarantine facility. Many hotels have allowed their facilities to be used for local residents needing to quarantine from their family if infected by the virus.
Additionally, be certain you are aware of the following:
- Know a hotel’s sanitizing protocols.
- Cleaning schedule for stays longer than overnight.
- Check-in procedures. Many hotels are completely contactless.
- Room access: is it a key, a card or your smartphone?
- Be sure to sanitize the TV remote, please?
Home rentals are an increasingly popular option. The pandemic has proven to increase this option significantly because of the lack of contact it affords.
Airbnb, VRBO, and other home rental companies enforce strict cleaning protocols for owners. However, treat as you would a hotel room and wipe everything down. You can never be too safe these days.
GET MORE PROFESSIONAL TIPS FOR QUALITY SENIOR CARE
The present pandemic makes travel risky. This is why the best place for seniors is in a residential assisted living home. While fatigue is understandable during the pandemic, the best option for overall health and wellness is to stay at home. However, if traveling must happen, remember to follow these tips.
For more information about quality senior living and residential assisted living homes visit www.RALNA.com. Membership with the Residential Assisted Living National Association will empower your business with the support needed from blogs, legal support, group discount purchasing and so much more.
Learn about options to secure a free membership today.
Get the resources and training needed to provide quality care from the Residential Assisted Living National Association.