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Checklist for Vacationing with a Disabled or Elderly Travel Partner

Whether you're planning an extended trip or just getting out of town for a few days, it's always fun to enjoy a vacation with family and friends. Of course, if your group includes an elderly or disabled travel partner with special requirements, you do need to account for that person's unique needs. Comfort is critical and it's important to not stray too far from his or her routine; plus, there may be specific medical care and wellness considerations while you're on the road. However, armed with this checklist for vacationing with an elderly or disabled person, you can head out of town for a worry-free, fun trip with loved ones.

Listing Needs

The details will vary based upon your travel partner's circumstances, but needs will generally fall into three categories:

1. Transportation: If you'll be traveling by air, you should identify airport and on-board assistance you'll require, as well as specifics on necessary facilities. Make sure to include any specialized equipment you must take along on the trip.

2. Accommodations: The primary considerations with accommodations are getting in and out of the unit, proper bathroom facilities, and the conditions of the premises. Take measurements if a wheelchair is necessary.

3. Fun and Entertainment: The trip should be enjoyable for all, so make sure to include fun and entertainment options for your elderly or disabled loved one. Check with area attractions about accessibility and whether you need to make special arrangements.

Locate Accessibility Providers That Address All Needs

Once you have a full list of all requirements for your family member or friend, look for companies that match your needs. Airline, rental car company, and hotel websites have a wealth of information about accessibility, so you can conduct your research online. If necessary, double-check accessibility by contacting the local company directly and confirming the website information is accurate.

Documentation to Bring on the Trip

Locate and organize all necessary documents you'll need to take along when you travel with an elderly or disabled person. Include financial information and medical insurance, and discuss prescription paperwork with the individual's doctor. You may need to fill these medications while you're gone.

If your elderly or disabled person travel partner has executed powers of attorney, make sure you have copies in your travel documents. It's possible you'll have to present them if he or she needs medical care or assistance with financial matters. Finally, if a Michigan court has issued Letters of Guardianship, it's important to have them on your trip.

Travel with a disabled or elderly person can be enjoyable for your entire group, so long as you're well-prepared. All that's required is a little time to do some advance planning on their unique needs for transportation, accommodations, and fun. If you have any questions about which documents to take along or need to make arrangements for necessary paperwork, please contact the lawyers at the Nawrocki Center for Elder Law, Special Needs & Disability Planning. Our lawyers have considerable experience in elder and disability law, and can advise you on the important documentation you shouldn't depart without.

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