Flying with the Elderly : Planning for the Airplane

An elderly couple with sky and clouds in the backgroundThough flying is one of the safest means by which to travel, it can be a problematic activity for some seniors.

Frequent flyers know, as well as once in a while folks, that not only can the ears be affected, but headaches, neck aches and backaches can develop.

Flying with the elderly requires preventative knowledge of these and other issues that affect the elderly, specifically: deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism that can occur due to cramped seats over long distance; expansion of gases within the stomach that may lead to discomfort, nausea or vomiting; seizures, often due to a pre-existing conditions; and the complexities of airports that may fatigue an older traveler.  Syncope, or fainting, because of prolonged sitting and dehydration may pose an issue as well.

Here are two key steps that may help ease senior discomfort when traveling.

1. Call the doctor.

If your elderly parent or relative has any health conditions, traveling may be complicated. Don’t take for granted what a thorough doctor’s visit can do in terms of helping you, and them, plan for the hustle and bustle of traveling. Discuss with the doctor and your relative all aspects of the upcoming journey. Will the walkin to and from gates cause an issue? How about the temperature of the airport and/or airline? What about food, gas issues and medications? Note that though mostly all medications are allowed with proper documentation, security screenings will be more complex with medications. This will require additional time, so plan accordingly.

2. Call the airport.

Aside from the knowledge of doctor, the knowledge of an airport attendant can be most helpful when planning a trip. Are you concerned about distances and access to a wheelchair? Ask. Or google. To this can be added the issue of medications or emergencies in the airport? If the answers of these questions are of use to you, research and plan accordingly.

These are but two tips to help with traveling. Nothing beats thoughtful preparation.


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Alvita Care is a fully licensed home healthcare company providing premier in home caregiver services to seniors living in New York City and on Long Island NY. With offices in Midtown Manhattan and Hauppauge NY, Alvita Care was founded in 2008 upon the idea of "Care Without Compromise". Our care-giving services enhance seniors' lives, by improving their well-being, dignity and independence. We have earned The Joint Commissions Gold Seal of Approval and pride ourselves with our proprietary caregiver matching process that carefully matches our experience caregivers to each client based on personality and technical skills needed. Alvita Care can help whether you need assistance for several hours a few times a week or you require live-in or around-the-clock assistance. Our caregivers provide assurance and relief to families by relieving their anxiety, knowing that their loved one is safe, happy and lovingly cared for.