As The Snow Flies, So Do Many Older Canadians

Originally published at

SNOWBIRDS: A Few Pre Trip Tips

Are your older clients/family members planning on heading south for a few months this winter?
While we can all appreciate a great break from the cold, there are some other issues that should be part of the planning process.
– Will they drive themselves? Some options include: hiring a family friend/other to drive the car down for them or with them. There are also companies that will arrange to have the car driven to their destination.
– Will they fly themselves? Do they need to change planes? If this is of concern, there are companies that offer companion services who will accompany the senior for the travelling portion of the trip.
– Will a caregiver accompany them? If care is required, there are home health care companies that offer hourly care which can be arranged in advance.
– Is their medical history and medication needs up to date and clearly outlined? A pharmacy printout of the medications is a handy document.
– Are their important papers, such as Powers of Attorney in place; do you know where it is kept.
– Is out of province health insurance in place?
– Do they carry identification and an emergency contact name with them at all times?
– Have they suspended their personal emergency response system for the time they are away? (note: check if your provider will allow for suspension of service without a re-activation fee). Some companies will allow you to transfer your communicator and your response help pendant to a local provider at your temporary address.
– One retirement residence provider offers their residents a one-of-a-kind travel program that invites residents to stay up to seven nights per visit at most of their 300 independent living communities across the United States and Canada, where as a guest, room, all meals, shuttle service, and participation in all programs and activities, is available at no additional expense.
– How about a short term stay at a retirement residence?

A Geriatric Care Manager (GCM)can assist in locating specific resources before they head South AND a GCM can be a tremendous resource to you, should they have a crisis and need hospitalization, resource identification and support while they are away.
Like most things, a little planning can go a long way. Safe travels!

-Audrey Miller

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