When your age and health begins to limit your mobility, travelling by air can become a real challenge. While navigating through an airport can be tedious at any age, but it can be even more daunting when you have difficulty moving. It is important to know your limits and plan ahead in order to have a timely trip. Here are some tips to help ensure that your travel can go smoothly.
Check with your doctor first to ensure that you do not have any medical conditions that may prevent you from flying. Some health issues can complicate the travel process, so make sure that you plan for this properly. Ask your doctor if they have any tips or precautions that you should follow on your trip specific to your medical condition.
Make sure that your plane has bathrooms that can accommodate your limited mobility. Only wide planes that have dual aisles are required to have handicap accessible bathrooms, but some single aisle planes may have a restroom that can accommodate you. If a plane has an accessible bathroom, it will most likely be noted in the features when booking the flight. If you use a wheelchair, make sure that you plan your flight with that in mind. If you need a wheelchair for inside the airport, call them in advance to reserve one.
Some airlines have senior discounts for flights, although they aren’t very common. Sometimes, airlines will only offer these discounts on their own websites, rather than through third party websites. Shop around before you book, and you may be able to save some money on your flight.
Hold on to Important Medical Info
Keep a document on your person, listing all of the medications you have, any medical conditions you suffer with, and any allergies you have. You should keep this along with your insurance card. In the event of an emergency, medical services can see this and help you accordingly.
Travelling With Medicines
Consider any medications that may complicate your experience at the airport. If you need to travel with your medication, make sure that you plan ahead for this. All of your medications should be in your carry-on, so that you can be sure that they will arrive at your destination with you. Keep all medications in their original packaging. Properly labeled medications can be allowed on a plane even if they exceed the 3.4 oz limit. Some medications require storage at certain temperatures. You may need to bring an insulated bag inside your carry-on to keep your prescriptions intact.
Bring Incontinence Supplies
Incontinence can be an issue for many elderly travelers; especially for longer flights. If you have trouble with incontinence, be sure to pack appropriately. You may want to wear incontinence briefs. Bring disposable pads, skin care products, a lap blanket, wipes, etc. Use the bathroom before you board the plane.
Prepare for the TSA
Security for plane travel can be an arduous process, but they do make accommodations for the elderly and disabled. The TSA has protocols for screenings for elderly and disabled individuals with wheelchairs, walkers, canes, hearing aids, and more. As stated above, medications (in their original packaging), can be brought on a plane, even if they exceed the 3.4 oz maximum for liquids and creams. But the TSA may require additional screenings for these medications.
Passengers 75 and older have the ability to go through an expedited process where they do not have to remove shoes or light jackets, unless a scan picks up something that requires additional screening. If you cannot go through the regular screening devices, let the TSA offices know, and they will accommodate.
The TSA also has a helpline that you can call for any assistance in planning for the screening process. The number for TSA Cares is 855-787-2227. They should be called at least 72 hours before your flight for additional assistance, and to ensure that they have enough time to prepare for any accommodations you may need.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical or healthcare advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact Safe Harbor at (718)-979-6900.