They say life begins at 50, and it’s true. With the kids moving out and work life slowing down you get a better chance at enjoying life to fullest and experience the wonders of the world. Yet many seniors choose to stay cooped up in their home, feeling afraid to plan a long trip. But times are changing: new services pop up all the time, centering on the idea of sharing a trip with strangers in exchange for mutual companionship. The concept of ‘travel buddies’ is highly popular among millennials, but the elderly are starting to catch up with the trend as well thanks to some tweaks in the core features. A senior traveling companion isn’t a complete stranger heading to the same destination, but rather a caregiver for hire who accompanies them to the end of the trip.
The Dangers of Traveling Alone
At first, the thought of hiring someone to carry your elderly relative’s luggage and keep them entertained might sound silly. However, don’t forget that being lost and abandoned is what stops most seniors from taking a longer trip. Even though they would never admit it, visiting an unknown city, navigating through unfamiliar streets, and going through the complicated process of booking a hotel makes them scared. Not to mention the fear of an unexpected medical emergency, far from any friend or family member.
Traveling with a professional and (above all) background checked caregiver puts the senior’s mind at ease, knowing that they are not alone. The other alternative is to ask someone of the same age they know from the internet to keep them company; there are several forums dedicated to elderly traveling. Incidentally they can also look for road trip mates on senior dating sites as well, since those are more of a friend finding platform rather than a romantic matchmaking one.
Senior Travel Buddies
So what kind of benefits does a travel companion actually provide for your beloved relative? Well, they are invaluable help for creating a cost effective and comfortable travel plan. If needed, they volunteer to carry the senior’s luggage and assist during the airport check-ins. Other caregivers are waiting at the destination, acting as the elderly person’s tour guide, even accompanying them to certain events. Companions arrange ground transportation or pick up the senior with their car. Of course, the traveler must pay for the travel companion’s expenses including traveling fees, accommodation and meals. If they choose to have the caregiver stay with them for the whole trip, both parties must agree on the daily fee as well. Still, hiring a traveling companion relieves a lot of stress off an older relative’s shoulders, allowing them to focus on the trip itself.
Medical Alert Buttons for Traveling Purposes
The only glaring issue with the concept of senior travel buddies involves medical emergencies. If the elderly traveler experiences a heart attack or life-threatening condition, their companion caregiver might have a hard time assessing the situation. It’s good to have someone around to call the paramedics, but professional monitoring is still required. The best source of help is none other than the monitoring personnel of a medical alert company. The operators have the aging user’s full medical history on file, and they are well-versed in all sorts of medical symptoms. The caregiver and the monitoring agent can work together to efficiently assess the situation, with the latter contacting the emergency response teams and family members, while the former comforts the senior. A real win-win situation.