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07 Dec 2018

5 things to note when travelling with the elderly


TravellingwithElderly

Singapore is one of the only countries in the world to call her elderly “senior citizens”, perhaps to accurately reflect the fact that they may be more senior in age, but they are definitely not old. Recent statistics from the Ministry of Social and Family Development show that 48% of seniors aged 65 and above are still active in the workforce!1

This zest for life naturally includes a passion for exploring the world in their golden years. In fact, travel is one of the top 5 ways seniors choose to enjoy their CPF savings with2. It is also one of the best ways to spend quality time with your parents and grandparents amidst your busy schedule.

Bringing your parents or grandparents on a year-end holiday? Here are some things to note so that everyone can have fun!

 


 

Take it slow and easy

Older folks may need more time to fully enjoy each place, so make sure you plan enough time in your itinerary for them to rest and recharge! It is also good practice to cater extra travelling time so your folks do not feel rushed or get tired easily. Make it more enjoyable for them by planning a few stops at places they would be interested in, such as historical sites or scenic areas.

“I will usually get their opinions and ‘wishlist’ during the planning stage,” says Jiaxin Quek, a 29-year-old marketing executive who has planned more than ten trips for her parents in the past five years. “They will let me know if they are not comfortable with what I have planned, so I can make changes. This way, everyone is happy!”

Choose the right hotel

Some modern hotels may have design features such as a bathroom without doors, low tables or dark rooms, which may not be suitable for the elderly. Scrutinize those room photos carefully before making a booking!

We also know it is tempting to get a hotel with a good view for the ‘gram, but your hotel should be easily accessible and not require you to climb steep slopes. You should also call beforehand to check if they have elderly-friendly features such as lifts, wheelchair facilities, ramps and even grab-bars in the toilets if needed.

Prep them physically

If your parents are not active by nature, encourage them to walk around the estate for a few weeks before the trip. This will prep them for all the walking they will do during your holiday.

“I will discuss the tour plans with my parents during my walks with them to get them excited for the trip. It is also a great way to make sure that they are mentally prepared for all the activities I have planned,” says Jiaxin.

Consider their health

Before your trip, bring your parents or grandparents for a visit to their doctor so that they have sufficient medication for the trip. Consider discussing your travel plans with their doctor as they would be able to highlight any places or activities that may trigger certain health conditions.

During your trip, pack their medication (cater for extras!) and carry them with you. Tip: label the medication with its name and what they are for to ensure no mix-up. You should also bring a written prescription of their medication just in case you need more when you are overseas!

If they are required to take their medication on regular intervals, set an alarm or reminder on your phone so you can really focus on having fun instead of watching the clock.

Lastly, check the legal dosage of their medication in the country you are visiting. When in doubt, declare their medication at the customs.

EX-tra cover

If your elderly parents or grandparents have a stable and controlled pre-existing medical condition, it is a good idea to be covered under MSIG’s TravelEasy Pre-Ex so you can truly travel worry-free.

With no upper age limit, TravelEasy Pre-Ex will cover your elderly loved ones for the high costs of overseas hospitalisation expenses and evacuation if they become critically ill during the trip due to their pre-existing medical conditions.

TravelEasy Pre-Ex is truly a plan that caters to the elderly’s needs — it even includes coverage for TCM and reimbursement of mobility aids!

Start your holiday with your elderly loved ones on the right foot with MSIG’s TravelEasy Pre-Ex! Find out more about TravelEasy Pre-Ex here.


1https://www.msf.gov.sg/research-and-data/Research-and-Statistics/Pages/Statistical-Indicators-on-the-Elderly.aspx

2https://www.singstat.gov.sg/find-data/search-by-theme/population/elderly-youth-and-gender-profile/external-sources, National Survey of Senior Citizens 2011