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Wow i can't believe this thread came along right now! I am in the process of planning a long trip with my elderly parents as well and I needed some assurance it is OK to do. Dad has moderate dementia but from all I have read in these posts it sounds like he should do fine.

It's a 900 mile drive and we will be stopping over night instead of driving straight through. I will keep clearblues info in mind and make sure we stop now and again so they can walk around and keep their blood moving.

We are going to a family reunion for Moms family. She has two sisters and a brother that she really wants to see and this could likely be the last time they will be together, as one of her sisters is very ill. I really want to get her there. Dad seems excited about the idea. I think he just wants to get the heck out of the house :)
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Studies have reveiled that all people but especially the elderly are more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis. A blood clot that travels to the brain, heart or lungs. Especially when traveling long distances whether by car, plane, or rail.
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I am pretty sure that short persons are not safe to be in front passenger seat due to airbags, someone please correct me if I'm wrong here. My mom has shrunk to about 4 foot 10 inches and 120 lbs. Maybe I'm wrong.
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I sympathize with the putting equipment in and out of a trunk. I worked for a nursing facility that loaned out medical equipment. Being five foot and trying to get a wheelchair into the trunk of the caris no fun. I just didn't have the strength or leverage. I ended up telling people they needed a van or SUV if they needed help. Or, bring someone with you.
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Definitely depends on the person in question. Mom was a traveler in her younger days. Loved to always be on the go. It was nothing for her to get what she called "itchy feet" and jump up at 3am and go for a ride. She'd call one of us kids and say, "Guess where Dad and I are?" and they'd be 300 miles away, having "taken a ride". Now I can barely get her out of the house, especially in the winter months. She really *wants* to go, but the practicality just isn't there. It isn't realistic or practical for someone with severe urinary incontinence, mobility issues, and circulatory problems to ride for more than an hour or so at a time. And because of those problems, long trips broken into smaller pieces aren't very practical, either. Our last trip north (last summer), which involves a 10 hour drive, was Mom's last long trip, I'm afraid. Because it's difficult and painful for her to get in and out of the van, she simply refuses to do it, which means she isn't going to the bathroom as often as she should, and gets irritable with anyone trying to make her do it - even if it's for her own good. That means long trips are out.

We may make ONE trip north this summer, but it will be a much shorter trip - 3 hours in the van instead of 10, with a stop half-way for a bathroom break, lots of extra clothes, incontinence pads and such packed, and her scooter so we can get her out and let her tool around the shops a bit, and maybe get closer to the water. It will be a major effort to take her on that trip, but worth it.
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Another thing we need to take notice, can the driver him/herself be able to do a long trip or any trip for that matter. Many of us are senior citizens ourselves driving our own parents who are mega senior citizens.

I know I can no longer drive all over God's creation like I use to a few years ago... just wished my parents would realize that...[sigh].

I dread those days where my parents need to go somewhere. It seems like Dad's rollor walker is getting heavier and heavier, and I am tired after trying to fit the walker into the trunk of their car, I have to keep lifting it out to try numerous positions so that the trunk lid would shut. And let's not get started on the seatbelts... that's a whole another long topic :P
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I'm sure most elderly people, who are "safe" to be a passenger, would love any chance to go out for a drive. If they are frail then have an extra set of hands to help them in /out of vehicle. Bring their walker or wheelchair. Bring extra set of clothes and I always bring pre-wetted washcloths in a gallon zip top bag, and extra bag to put dirty ones in (we use washcloths not babywipes). Have fun is the most important thing. The elederly are not going to be around for much longer, so DO get them out of the house!
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My Mom doesn't like to sit in a car for long. But, I would think it was like a baby. You need to take supplys. Me personally wouldn't go on a long trip where I had to worry about stopping a lot. Especially if there is an incontence problem.
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Agree, need more info. I try and take my 90yo Mom for a drive everyday to get us out of the house. A few years ago she was able to take a 1500 mile trip by car. Now she's so stiff after a one hour drive she has a hard time getting out of the car. I wouldn't even contemplate a long road trip by car now.
Tried taking her by plane a few years ago to visit my brother in the Midwest. The trip totally exhausted her and her confusion increased. A trip by plane is also out of the question for us now.
Her spirit is willing but the old body is weak. Travelling with your elderly folks depends a lot on what their limitations are. Everybody is different. I will say that in my experience and in talking to others caring for parents with dementia, taking these folks out of their familiar environment often does increase their confusion.
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Agree more info please. Whatever you do have a second person with you if there may be problems. how do you define elderly?
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freqflyer is right, we need more info. And likely the answer will depend on the elderly person involved. For years we took both my folks with us to visit my brothers' homes 2 and 1/2 hours away. This was for many holiday gatherings. Mom developed dementia first, then later, also Dad. For a long time, it was fine, even when Mom was quite far into her disease. Mostly they just slept the whole way there. And while we needed more bathroom breaks, we were able to allow time for that.. But eventually came the day when Mom's dementia made it unsafe. When she tried opening the doors while we were going 65 miles an hours, we were able to use the child proof door locks. When she was restless, I brought magazines for her to look a pictures, and distract her. But getting her to keep the seat belt on became a problem. Her tugging on the backs of the front passengers' seat belts was a problem too. But then we had an episode where she got angry and tried to lean over the seat and grab for the steering wheel. Worse yet she did it by grabbing around the driver's neck, to pull herself forward, and wouldn't let go. That was the last long trip for her, as she went into the NH soon afterward. It would have been the end anyway as even short rides to her doctor's offices, were fraught with the same issues, of her turning every control on my dashboard, and grabbing at the steering wheel.
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Need more information... such as how old are the parents and what are their limitations, if any? How long is the trip? For some an hour is a long time where others find 5+ hours a long trip. Is the trip by car, bus, train, or plane? Will the parents be traveling alone, or will another family member be accompanying them?
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