Travelling with Elderly

Hi there,

If you could still recall a post I made about an engagement, yep, this is the subsequent post I promised.

As I’ve mentioned, I traveled with two dependent elderly. It wasn’t easy and very tiring but just like a mother who feels only joy at the birth of her child, I did too when my granny was all smiling.

It was not easy to get my granny out of her house. She worried too much of her hens.  roosters and of course her house. Somehow, she agreed to join us. My mom, uncles and aunties were of course very happy. They can now have a proper family outing after so many years.

Well, of course they had to think a step ahead just to ensure that my granny had fun. So here are some few tricks when travelling with elderly:

  1. Sweaters, thick clothes, socks
    • Especially if you’re riding an airplane, the airport could be a wee bit too chilly for them. You wouldn’t want them to catch a cold. At first they mightn’t feel cold but they’ll thank you later.
  2. Sweets, snacks, water
    • Just like babies, they might experience ear discomfort during the take off. Prepare something for them to suck such as sweets or whatever it is that match their likings.
  3. Diapers, tissue
    • More often than not, they were too embarrassed or find it too difficult to answer the nature’s call. So they held it in and in a matter of time, they’ll find it a little too late. So, before travelling, it is highly encouraged if you could familiarise and train nana and poppa to wear the diapers.
  4. Wheelchair
    • Some elderly still have their ego in them. They might reject the idea of bringing it to everywhere they go. Take my word, JUST BRING IT. We had the experience of wanting to bring it and told not to. What happened next was as we predicted. Luckily we brought one wheelchair because my nanny obviously understood that it would be more than just a brisk walk. In the end, they had to share the wheelchair – we had to make 2 trips to get back to our car.
  5. Elderly-friendly Accomodation
    • Undeniably, we can get all rough and don’t mind staying in an uphill resort but that’s not the case for them. What we did was, since they were 20 of us, we rented two double-story homestays. The elderly by default stayed at the ground floor bedrooms. We made sure to have the bathroom nearby their rooms when we made the reservation. I can proudly say the both of them were happy with their rooms. Oh, also make sure to have another able person to sleep with them because they might wake up at night for a drink or even to go to the loo.
  6. Medications
    • Of course! THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Assign someone who can be their PA throughout the trip. Remind them when to take their medications.
  7. ‘Personal Assistant’
    • Can’t deny it. We can get too overjoyed and forget about them. This is when having a PA could be so much of a help. It needn’t to be the same person all along. Be sure to have someone specific to guard them. For example, my cousins and I wanted to go for a food-hunting whilst the rest wanted to stay home, so we politely asked one of our aunty to look after the elderly. The next day, when our parents went shopping, we stayed at home and watch over our nanny. Similarly, when we were all out and the young ones went to ride something challenging, we had our parents to wait with grandmom (because they obvs were not keen on the idea of extreme sports).

I guess that’s pretty much it. As you can see, they are not much different from handling toddlers. So, be extremely patient and helpful. It will be worth it.

Until then, peace be upon you.

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We’re L.E.

When I was in college, I wrote an essay on intuition. The essay partially determined our final marks (the other half of the mark was evaluated from a group presentation). Essentially, students preferred topics that were heavily discussed and intuition wasn’t. I liked the subject for one reason; freedom of expression.

So, I did BOTH, presentation and essay on intuition. As far as I know, I was the only person who did that. Two facts – my class wasn’t taught anything on intuition and I was alone in the battlefield – ¬†were enough to intimidate me, and everyone else. I had no one to discuss the topic and soon, internet became my best-friend – the only place where I could find answers to my question, or at least a clue.

When I submitted my first draft of the essay, the lecturer wasn’t happy. She told me to write a new one and it’d be better if I choose another topic. I didn’t know what was wrong because she said the whole essay wasn’t convincing. She gave me a very low grade; it was a D or an E, perhaps an F. I couldn’t remember.

I went back to my room only to feel more determined. I reminded myself that this subject was about the students, our views. I didn’t budge. I stuck with the topic and was ready to face any consequence of me going against my teacher’s advice. It wasn’t an act of rebellion, but I had something to tell and I wanted it to be heard. I knew the final marker would be a foreign marker so I wanted my thoughts to get international. I refused to be confined with the mindset of the people whom I’ve lived with. To make long story short, in the end, I received an A for the subject.

It could be to two things; either my final draft (essay) was waaayyy better than the first one OR I fit the international marker’s criteria of marking. For the sake of this post, let’s consider the later one, shall we?

Have you ever been in a situation where you think you’re right but people are disagreeing with you? For example, you designed a shirt and find it very attractive, but nobody bought it. Or you wrote a song and no one enjoyed it. Or you cooked a dish but it received no praises. Or have you known a person who was nobody in your area but turned out to be majestic at some other place?

I, in some way feel that everything has its own place. So do we. We might not be accepted in this society, but we might be someone in the other; Our style of managing might no work out very well with this group of people, but it may suit the other.

The question is, do we make adjustment to ourselves or do we find a place where we’re welcomed?

I do not have the answer.

It is our choice. When you’re fearless, that is when great things happen. Well, not all the time but at least, you have nothing holding you back from trying and you’ll end up somewhere close to where you want to be.

It’s not easy to challenge the tradition but if you have strong faith in what you do, and you know it’s going to benefit a lot of people, for good purpose, then I say, go for it.

One of the homegrown online business, FashionValet, has proved the society that we can be as big as we dream. The founders were nobody but today, their business worth millions. People could be saying things like they have the “network” or they’re from this-and-this families so it’s easier for them. That’s not the point here. Try looking from another perspective. They were innovative and saw the opportunity when no one had the guts to do it. Online shopping was not a thing back in early 2000 but they were brave enough to start the journey.

I might be challenged with something similar in the future. I hope that whoever deals with such situation will have faith in themselves and make the most out of it. Life isn’t really about proving ourselves to others, but it’s about us. To be able to put meaning in our journey and cherishes it when we’re old. We, are LIMITED EDITION.

Till then, may peace be upon you.