No one likes
Here are some of the problems seniors face
Long lines. This means waiting, and while many seniors have time and are not usually as rushed as their younger counterparts, standing for long periods, being knocked by other travelers luggage and packages as well as maneuvering their own luggage can be a problem.
Getting through metal detectors and searches. Having artificial limbs, pacemakers and joint replacements can cause problems going through metal detectors. Other items such as canes, walkers and wheel chairs also require special attention.
Putting shoes back on can be a problem for seniors who have a hard time bending over or just getting dressed.
The good news is that with a little planning, seniors can travel without much worry. Here are some tips to help make this possible.
- Call the airline in advance and ask them to have an employee escort the senior to the gate. This gets them through the screening process, can eliminate the standing by using a wheel chair if necessary and eliminates the confusion of getting to the right gate.
- Have the airline mark the ticket Needs assistance and have a family member escort them instead of the airline employee.
- Understand the rules of traveling post 9/11. Examples of this include reminding older travelers of the 3-1-1 rule: Each passenger is allowed to carry on as many liquid containers of 3 ounces or less as will fit in 1 zip-lock bag of the 1-quart size. One exception is that medications in their original containers are allowed as carry-on luggage, no matter what the size. Also let them know to bring valuables on the carry on instead of rolled up in a sock in their suitcase.
- Do not lock their suitcase unless they have an approved TSA lock.
- Ship large or heavy presents ahead of time.
- Hire a companion through an agency to get the senior on the plane safely or even travel with the senior to and from the destination. If you are unsure of where to find such a service, call your local Office On Aging or go to websites such as caregrade.com where you can read reviews on senior care providers prior to selecting one.
- Wear shoes that are easy to get on and off.
- Ask to be taken to a chair to help get shoes on and off.
- Any traveler with a pacemaker should not step through the screening gate because the machine may offset the calibration of the pacemaker. Either get a not from a physician or have a pacemaker identification card. Ask for a secondary pat-down.
- If there is a frequency or urgency issue with using the restroom, request an isle seat close to the restroom.
- Check current passport regulations as passports will soon be required for both domestic and international travel.
- Make sure there is adequate time to recoup from their travel once they reach their destinations. Travel can be exhausting and seniors require a longer time to rebound.
The holidays should be a joyous time for everyone. Visiting with family members means more to seniors who do not see their family on a regular basis. Fears of traveling should certainly not be the reason they are not united. While seniors should not expect a free pass in terms of security, special treatment is certainly something they have earned.