Traveling in the USA or flying abroad to Canada, Mexico or going long-haul to Asia is an exciting thing for parents with grown-up children who’ve perhaps never felt they could do so before. Your parents may insist on traveling even when their health is a little up and down, or they aren’t as mobile as they used to be.
Unfortunately, sometimes, one or other parents have a health crisis while they’re away. There are some preventative measures you can take before they leave, and also things you can do once you hear that they’ve run into difficulties on a vacation at home or abroad. Let’s look at these now.
It is important that your parents can reach you should they need to. Equally, you should be able to contact them most of the time. The majority of US cellphone carriers have a roaming plan that allows the owner of the phone to stay in contact. While it’s far cheaper to have a parent buy a local SIM card at their destination (if outside of the States), top up the credit and use it in their phone, it’s also common that their phone won’t work outside of America. For emergency contact, a phone set for the roaming service that’s only used for that purpose is best.
Make sure that they are both carrying travel insurance that covers the places they’ll visit and the activities they’ll be undertaking. Ensure the coverage is good enough and that the exclusions aren’t so severe that they’d be expected to pay cash or via a credit card for any medical procedures on the spot.
Staying in Contact Regularly
With parents who are either good with technology or can learn how to do it, being able to make calls via Skype or using mobile apps like WhatsApp, LINE or Viber provide some VoIP calling options when they have a device connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular service. If they take a smartphone or tablet with them, their hotel or guesthouse will often have an internet service they can use to stay in touch.
At the very least, logging into Facebook and messaging you every couple of days should be an agreed plan for older parents. Should they run into any medical issues, you may be able to assist them once you know what the problem is.
Air Lifting Home
For seniors who have medical issues and you’re wanting to get them home once they’re stabilized for travel, there are air medical transport options worth considering. A nurse can assist during the transit process, ensuring that they get the medication that they need during the flight and that their needs are well taken care of. Just knowing that someone medically knowledgeable will be by their side during the transit home is a big relief.
It’s often encouraging when senior parents feel the need to travel while they still can. When proper precautions are taken, most vacations go off without a hitch, but it’s good to be prepared for times when they might not go so well.