Most people are aware of the fact that as we age, our risk of falling increases. One average, one in four adults over the age of 65 falls every year. This risk continues to grow as we move into our 70s and 80s.
An Ounce of Prevention Goes a Long Way
When you or your loved one are at home, it is much easier to control your surroundings to decrease trip and fall hazards. Items can be secured, furniture can be moved, and physical supports can be put in place to improve balance and stability to reduce the chances of a fall.
This becomes much harder, if not impossible, to do when traveling. You now have to take precautions that work around the needs of others, especially in crowded public places. Busy airports, train depots and other forms of public transportation can become a nightmare if you aren’t prepared.
This does not mean that you or your loved one should not travel because of the increased risk of falling. It will require some advanced planning, but it is quite possible to travel or visit others safely.
We’ve listed below some tips to help you decrease the risks of falling to enjoy a fun adventure away from home.
Traveling with lighter or less luggage will make getting around much easier, and will decrease the chance of a senior adult becoming off balance caused by heavy baggage.
Choose comfort over fashion
Although it is tempting to sport the latest trends in shoes when traveling, it is never a good idea to wear new shoes when on vacation. It’s much more important to wear shoes that are comfortable and broken-in. Low heels and non-skid soles help improve stability and balance.
Drink more water
It is a pretty well-known fact that drinking water when flying can reduce jet lag. This is true because flying causes dehydration. Being dehydrated can also lead to fatigue and lightheadedness which can lead to tripping or a fall.
Drink less alcohol
Not only will alcohol also leads to dehydration, but it can also affect your balance. Drink fewer alcoholic drinks when traveling, or avoid them altogether.
When you, or someone you are traveling with, is at risk for falls it is vital that you slow things down and take your time getting to where you need to go. It’s a good idea to arrive at the airport early to allow time to get through the check-in lines. Set a realistic road trip schedule that includes time for bathroom breaks and time to get out and stretch your legs. By including extra time in your travel plans, you can decrease the risk of falling while getting to your destination.
Choose your location wisely
Selecting a hotel close to attractions will minimize the amount of walking that your senior loved one will need to do. When booking your hotel, check to see if getting to the hotel requires climbing lots of stairs. Request a ground floor handicap accessible room close to the elevator.
Be car cautious
It’s important to know the safe way to get in and out of a car. When getting in, back in and sit down and then swing the feet into the car. When getting out, swing both feet out first and place them flat on the ground before standing.
Establish a crisis plan
Make sure your senior loved one knows your travel itinerary and where you will be at any given time. Prior to your departure, install the Senior Safety app to remotely monitor phone location and protect against falls. This senior fall alert detection app sends notifications directly to your cellphone when a fall occurs and sends the GPS location of your senior loved one in the event an emergency situation arises, like wandering off. Getting help quickly can be a key element in recovery if a fall should occur.
With a little thought and planning, travel away from home becomes much safer and therefore more enjoyable for senior adults. The less you have to worry, the more fun your trip will be!
Download and install the Senior Safety Alert and senior tracker app for free from Google Play Store before you leave home for a vacation. The Senior Safety App can be configured in seconds, enabling caregivers to monitor alerts, reports, and location remotely using their smartphones or computers. When the Senior Safety App is active you will receive alerts for emergency help requests, falls with the phone, phone inactivity for an extended period of time, app installs or uninstalls, entry/exit from geo-locations (buildings, streets, cities, or neighborhoods), network changes (sim card change), and low battery alerts. Download this incredible safety app today!