Kim Spencer at Serengeti Care provide tips for how to travel well with a senior loved one, for family reunions and other summer events, including their medications, packing light, walkers, canes, or wheel chairs.
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This is a special presentation of answers for elders with Sarah and getty care, and welcome back to answers for elders everyone. I am here with Madam Kim Spencer from Sarah and Getty Care and Kim, welcome to the program today. It’s good to see you. I am excited about our topic today. We’re going to talk about traveling. It’s summertime. We of course we’re towards the end, but there’s still a lot of things going on. There’s weddings, there’s family reunions and I was reminded of just a friend of mine who told me that she just took her ninety two year old father to a relative’s wedding and it was kind of a big deal because obviously he’s living in assisted living. And so what are some hints that Sarah and Getty Care? What kind of hints could you our tips could you give people about how to travel well with the senior? Well, we could help with packing MMM and pack light. M also make sure that the senior has all their medications. That’s very important and you should probably have a list of what those are just in case they get lost or anything like that. Is that correct. That’s correct, and then also whether they need their wheelchair, walk or cane, and you know that’s important because a lot of times mom or dad may not need a walker every day, but if you’re going to a new place and there’s new surfaces, different types of surfaces, you know, and they can get tired if there’s going to be a long you know, a lot of standing, different kinds of kinds of things. You know, you may want to put a wheelchair in the back of your car. Even though they might not need it, it’s nice to be able to have it if they get tired or something like that. I mean, what kinds of extra things could somebody bring that maybe if they don’t need it, that might be helpful. If they don’t, another thing to think about. If you’re traveling on a plane and you’re probably going to be using a wheelchair, you can also rent where you’re going so you don’t have to worry about lugging all and will they meet you at the airport? With that, they will meet you. You can make arrangements with the airlines. That’s wonderful, so they will help you with getting in and out of the airplane. Obviously I’ve seen them come in with a special type of a wheelchair and and I think that’s important for seniors so that they don’t trip and fall. We want to do what we can to minimize the risk of falling. And so often when we are out traveling, you know there’s stairs that are new, there’s different types of entrances that are you know that that we may not be a tune to and if you’re going overnight or even for a day, it can be a lot of new experiences can create overwhelm and obviously they’re not focusing on, you know, the things that they’re used to in in walking. And I know, Kim you do a wonderful job talking about fall prevention and that should be you know, you should be hyper vigilant about that pieces and that correct. Correct. So tell me a little bit about just overall. Like, say somebody’s going to just take your parent just out for the day. Certainly you should still have a list of the medications. What other things should you be mindful of? kind of know what their daily routine is, if they eat at a certain time, if they take medications at a certain time, be prepared toilting different things like that. I think transferring a big big thing to is getting in and out of a car. You know, big thing. You don’t just put your foot down, you kind of move your body around, swivel, swivel, old swivel swivel, and then, you know, I used to bring my mom’s wheelchair up, but, you know, she’d get tired and I learned that what she do is put her hands over my neck, you know, around my shoulders, and I just pull her up as I you know, as I stood up, and that helped her to get up better. You know, and and I know that there’s different ways of getting someone out of the vehicle, out of a car, and a lot of us too, we have like high seuvs. That may not be the most, you know, a best opportunity. You want to make sure that you have a vehicle that’s easy for them to get in and out of, that’s not too high. I know that there’s some kind of trucks that I even have a hard time getting into that they’re so high up for too low, like or or low sports cars. Absolutely. So, you know, in thinking about those things and mobilization, we seniors, you know, of traveling anything like that. That’s that’s a real key thing to look at. So if I’m on, let’s say, one of the things I’ve learned is getting on a train. Train is hard because obviously you get up to, you know, seats. What do you know about traveling on a train for a senior that has mobilization is issues? Well, most of most seniors, I don’t think, travel by train that much that I’m aware of. Well, I do know that, for example, Amtrak, you know they will have a special wheelchair that that pulls them up, that you know, they do handle individuals with disabilities on and and I know that that’s a really great way too for a senior to travel. In many cases. It’s the hard part, though, is getting them in and out of the bathroom and things like that. So you’re right, it’s not probably the most ideal and it takes longer. So obviously you’re dealing with you know, rather than an airplane gets them there and in a little bit better pace. Now, one thing is traveling like, let’s just say it’s a it’s for a wedding and it’s local. To take the burden off the family, you could hire a caregiver, and that is in so important for many reasons because, remember, you guys, if you’re going to a wedding, you’re talking to relatives, you’re getting distracted by all the activities that are going on. You really don’t have somebody that’s just there watching mom or dad to make sure mom or dad are okay, and that’s important, and you have somebody that’s in tune to that, that can actually look for, you know, signs if mom gets too hot in this weather or too cold in a certain situation. Those are things that you need to be mindful of. hydration. How many of us think about well, you know, when is the last time mom had a glass of water? Right, yeah, right, and and you know, I think the other thing I want to talk about is shoes. If you’re going to a fancy wedding, mom may want to wear nice shoes. I’m going to advocate that mom wear the most practical, solid pair of shoes possible, even if mom’s going to be or dad or going to be sitting in a wheelchair, just for that main reason of making sure that they’re safe. Is that true, Kim? I think so, and you can you can bring an extra pair of shoes for pictures or whatever. In a wedding, you don’t want to wear flats or something kind of matronly. Yeah, she wants something more glamorous. You can just for a picture. You can have that and then in a bag you could have another one or two pairs. You might have slippers either. Comfortable. So we are talking to Kim Spencer from Sara and Getty Care and Kim is the Business Development Manager. Can tell us a little bit about the area that you guys serve and how you would help families who are traveling? Sarah and getty care can help with making arrangements or really planning out the plan for traveling with a senior. We could help with packing, we could help with teaching. You know, a lot of a lot of family members don’t even know how to use fold of wheelchair or right open and fold a walker. And most importantly is keeping the senior safe. H Mum, there’s breaks and you got to know how to use it so you can write, you know, and make sure the senior safe. That’s the most important thing and that’s just having that watchful eye, isn’t it? And what counties do you primarily serve? We Serve Piers, Snow Homesh and King County. That’s a great area and and one of the things that I really love about Sengetti care and what I’m really and just a powerful proponent is is working with someone that is local and you know, you never know. I mean I’m not saying that there’s not good franchise these out there, because there are, but there’s a lot of them. I would say, you know that are there for the business opportunity and have a locally owned agency like Seengetti is, I think, very valuable for a family and it’s also knowing that that company is established and been here and going to be there for the long haul. So that’s important as well. So can if if I were going to go there. Just one last thing. I would love to talk about the if somebody’s going to go to a restaurant, because that happens. Maybe you’re going to take mom or dad. I’m really quick before we leave. What are the things when you go into a restaurant thinks you should look for before you bring that parent in, let’s say with the wheelchair? I think before going to the restaurant with your senior is go there beforehand, walk in first, walk in first, even a day before, because this restaurant might not be a good fit if you have a wheelchair. It takes up a lot of space. If it’s a small restaurant, wheelchair might not get might get in the way of other guests in a crowded Restaur crowded restaurant. Well, and you know what I’ve I’ve done is I have called an asked a restaurant are you accessible, and sometimes they say, Oh, yeah, we have a you know, you can walk in because we have a ramp. Just because they have a ramp does not mean they’re accessible, because there’s a lot of things that can happen. I know that just because a restaurant has a handicap bathroom doesn’t mean their wheelchair can get into through the restaurant door. Are the restroom door, because that door needs to be at least thirty two inches wide and oftentimes that’s lost and your forgot, forget that. So just being mindful, I think in in if you’re taking your loved one out for a special event, know that they’re likely going to have to use the restroom. They’re likely going to, you know, have you know mobility issues get getting in and out. I would not obviously you want to make sure that you reserve a table and not a booth because they can’t get in there and often times booster raised up higher. So those are some things to look for. The other thing that I would strongly talk about is lighting. If the restaurant is too dark. Senior’s eyes sometimes are compromised as they are, so lighting is really key, is making sure that there is adequate lighting so that they can see the menu, and I think that’s important as well. Exactly. Yeah, so how do we reach you, Kim? You can reach us at two hundred zero, six, four eight nine, five thousand, one hundred and twenty. And what’s your website? Our website is Sarrengetty carecom. It’s sere en Geti see a recom. went to locations in Seattle and renting wonderful, Kim. Thank you so much for being on the program thank you for having me. This has been a special presentation of answers for elders with seeing getty care. For more information for seeing Getti care, go to Seengetti carecom. That’s star En Geti see a recom.
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.