Thanks to you all....Successful traveling with an elder.
I want to start by thanking everyone who commented on my post a few weeks ago when I asked for tips & suggestions for traveling with my elderly father. We got back from Florida two days ago after 9 days & I want to report: SUCCESS!!!! I took your suggestions to heart along with a few of my own and it was the best vacation ever. Papa traveled well, LOVED flying,,,LOVED the beaches....LOVED the WWII UDT Association events - the UDT/Navy Seals Museum....the weather, the food, the family, the laughter and comfort. He had committed to returning to Florida before we left! LOL
The flights went well, but I was VERY disappointed to find that American Airlines no longer asks for disabled, elderly and small children to board first...it wasn't a big problem, but I felt it to be sadly disrespectful. Money goes first, right? Even though the trip was carefully slow paced, Pop did get tired...so we spent a bit of "down time" every day soaking up rays on the beach or sitting on the balcony watching the surf & just talking.
I've posted some of the pictures take on the trip on my Facebook page - Paula Fontes - Maine - you're welcome to take a look.
I might be paying for this trip for the next year (thank you, credit cards)...but every cent was worth it. Papa has been through so much since Mama passed in April - I watched those burdens lift as he was reminded of who he is, how much he is loved and how great it feels to be alive on a sun-filled glorious day. Glimpses of my "old" Papa, who laughed more, walked easier and enjoyed everything.
I did find most folks to be accommodating and kind when I asked for things like smaller portions from the menu, assistance with handling Papa's suitcase (I think next time I'll pay the extra & have his suitcase checked) and accommodation when getting him through the TSA. Not everyone can travel far distances,,,,but even if you can get someone out into a local park on a nice day - please do. It helps both the person you care for and the caregiver.