Travel:  Caregiver Tips

August 1,  2016


Travel is a wonderful, mind expanding activity that should be shared by all, including those with different abilities as a result of their health.  It is easy to say that it's 'too difficult' or 'too inconvenient' to take the person you care for with you.  In my case, I choose to say that taking my wife, who I provide care for, on a trip is not too difficult or inconvenient, it is just different.

Your trip could be a nearby day trip or an extended trip to a far way place. It could be to visit relatives and friends who live out of town or international travel to see the wonders of our world.

All trips require planning so it goes without saying that even more planning goes into traveling with your sick or disabled loved one.  When traveling as a caregiver it's important you have done all necessary planning to ensure that you and your partner have what you need. 

 

Here are a few things to consider:

If it's a road trip is your vehicle "friendly" to you and your partner? 
What I mean by this is, do you need am accessible vehicle?  If the answer is No, please be aware that you can always rent one if you don't have one.

Bathrooms:
Bathrooms are a huge consideration while driving. If your partner needs help, are there family restrooms available on your route?  If not, you will have to take your partner to the bathroom of your gender.  Highway rest areas in some states have separate family restroom, if not, usually an attendant is available to help.

Time your road stops:
For example, stop at a highway rest area and combine the stop with a meal that you have packed for the trip. Most rest stops have picnic areas and, weather permitting, it can be like going to the park for a picnic.

Motels:
I cannot stress this enough--book in advance.  You will also need to make sure that an accessible room is available.  Specify the type of bed and washing facilities such as a roll in shower. If there are any specific questions, call the motel itself and talk to the desk person or someone in housekeeping.

Health care:
Be sure that adequate medical services are nearby in the case of an emergency that is related to your partner's specific condition.  Another consideration is to ensure that there an emergency clinic is nearby for routine issues.  You should check to make sure that your partners health insurance is acceptable not only at your destination but also in states that you may be passing through.

Accessible Destination:
Most friends and relatives do not have "accessible homes", i.e., they may not have bathrooms that accommodate the individual you're providing care for.  I highly recommend taking a portable commode with you, especially if you are not staying in an accessible motel room.  The commode can be placed next to the bed and help you to avoid struggling to get through narrow bathroom doors.  As an added bonus, the commode can be used as a shower chair.

 

 You can read my "10 Caregiver Travel Tips You Never Considered" Here

 

Websites, blogs and books on Disabled Travel

The Americans with Disabilities Act - www.ADA.gov


Travel Websites:

http://www.independenttraveler.com/

http://www.handicappedtravelclub.com/

http://www.disabilitytravel.com/

https://www.ricksteves.com/

http://www.wheelchairtraveling.com/

http://www.access-able.com/


Travel Blogs


http://www.curbfreewithcorylee.com/


Travel Books

Barrier Free Travel - Candy Harrington

Accessibility - Tracy Ingram

Disability Travel Around the World - Tony Kelbrat

Wheelchairs on the Go, Accessible Fun in Florida - Michelle Stigleman and Deborah Van Brunt