Traveling becomes more difficult as you get older, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Flying is one of the most popular ways to travel, but it can be dangerous for the elderly or people with certain health conditions. If you or your elderly family member must travel a long distance, you should know the potential airline hazards for the elderly and alternative travel options.

Increased Risk for Illness

Because the immune system weakens with age, older people are naturally at increased risk for illness. Additionally, anyone is more likely to get sick when traveling by plane because of the close proximity to other people. With that in mind, older people are twice as likely to catch a cold or other illness on a plane.

Potential Injuries

Although elderly people can board the plane to settle in before everyone else, they may be susceptible to potential injuries during the rush of trying to get off the plane after landing. Additionally, being bumped in the shoulder or accidentally shoved is a minor inconvenience for a young, healthy person; however, it can cause major pain or a severe fall for someone older.

Discomfort From the Flight

Airplanes have reduced air pressure and oxygen levels, which can cause issues and discomfort for those with breathing problems or other ailments. Furthermore, it may be difficult for your loved one to get comfortable on a plane or sit still for an extended period. Flying puts unnecessary stress on the body, and it can cause existing health conditions like arthritis and inflammation to flare up. Unfortunately, this pain and discomfort may continue after the flight.

Alternative Travel Options

While traveling by plane is the convenient option in most cases, it’s not always the best decision for older people or those with specific ailments. Consider the following alternative travel options to ensure a comfortable and safe trip.

By Car

Traveling by car is a good option for many people, as it may be more comfortable than flying. In addition, you can stop whenever you need to eat, stretch, or use the restroom. While traveling by car is a good option for many, it may not be the safest for those who need extra medical care.

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is another alternative, perfect for older people who need extra medical attention during travel. NEMT companies offer a crew to take your loved one wherever they need while providing excellent care such as ensuring comfort, administering medications, and monitoring vitals.

After learning about airline hazards for the elderly and alternative travel options, you can make the best decision for the safety and comfort of your loved ones. Contact our team at TransMedCare for more information on long-distance elderly transportation. Traveling doesn’t have to be a hassle for you; consider hiring a professional to take your loved ones where they need to go.