The thing about anxiety is that it can strike at any age. When anxiety sets in, it can often be incredibly difficult to manage without the right input and support. For seniors, there are plenty of triggers that will exacerbate anxiety conditions and travel is definitely at the top of a lot of lists. So, if you need to support a senior relative with their travel concerns, read on below for some advice.
Positive communication practices mean a lot at any age. There are certain things you should absolutely discuss openly with your senior relative and tips and tricks for anxiety should be highlighted in the first instance.
What you can talk about is where the concerns are and ways that you can support them. If there are communication barriers, try to listen as much as possible and suggest some research they can do.
Enlist Professional Support
There is plenty you can do during actual travel time. When elderly people travel, the actual part where they are sat on the transport can be very daunting and overwhelming. Services like a flight concierge nurse can provide valuable, in-flight support in whatever scope is needed. This can either be medical or just for general help too.
Talk to a Doctor
A proactive way to handle specific anxiety like travel worries is to go and talk to a healthcare professional. Encourage your senior to discuss their concerns with their doctor (or nurse) to see if there are any medications or therapies they can embrace to help with the actual travel part. While it’s not for everyone, sometimes, if the anxiety is just too overwhelming but the travel is essential, it can be one of the best options on the table.
Print Everything Out
Help them practically by printing out all of their travel documentation so they can carry it with them wherever they go. Sometimes, and this is not to channel into the stereotypes, senior people struggle to access technology in the same way as the younger generations.
This can be an added stress when trying to travel around pre-existing anxiety. Yet, it is one that can be completely eliminated by simply carrying a folder with everything they could possibly need inside it. This could be coordinated in person or sent through the post.
Consider Mindfulness Practice
There are certain practices that can really help with anxiety too, regardless of the age of the person suffering from it. Mindfulness is one of the most helpful techniques out there for tackling this kind of problem. Putting it into action can be fast, and it is a highly adaptable approach that anyone can embrace along their journey. Try talking to your relative about how to implement mindfulness into their travel routine to support them better.
Travel anxiety is often debilitating. Yet, there are always going to be circumstances where seniors are required to do so, whether it is moving accommodation or visiting a loved one. Life doesn’t stop in old age, and there is support there to be tapped into to help manage anxiety.