Long Distance Senior Relocation by Airplane

Long Distance Senior Relocation by Airplane

Long Distance Senior Relocation by Airplane | Elderly Air Travel

When it comes to moving seniors to a new home, flying makes the most sense. It’s the fastest, safest way to manage a long distance senior relocation. The key is to follow some best practices that have proven to make the experience much smoother for all involved.

Adult children, who often must help parents downsize and relocate to a new home, can benefit from learning those best practices and putting them into action before, during and after the trip.  They include the tips listed below.

Many of these issues, including booking all travel arrangements, are handled by partnering with professional senior relocation services

Tips For Before You Travel 

The best long distance senior relocations go well because of a solid plan. The time to create one happens long before you leave the house. The first step is to make a checklist for pre-trip considerations, including the following.

Talk to the doctor. If seniors have chronic medical conditions, check with a physician to ensure they can fly. You may also want to consider having a flight nurse on the trip to manage medications, medical equipment and any issues that may arise during the flight.

Can I Hire a Nurse to Fly With Me?

Book the flights. Book flights as far in advance as possible to get the cheapest rates. Also, make all the flights non-stop, if possible, even if they cost slightly more. Doing so saves seniors the hassle of getting on and off a plane twice and having to navigate a third airport.

Call the airport and airline. If you need special arrangements for seniors, call ahead to set them up with the airport or airline. This includes issues such as getting a wheelchair or assistance in going through security. You can also request special seating arrangements on the plane.

Arrange ground transportation. Make sure that you have dependable ground transportation both to the airport and from the destination airport. 

Packing. Make sure that all medication is packed in the carry-on bag and labeled correctly. Also put any snacks and extra water the seniors might want or any other items needed during the flight. 

Tips For Day of Flight

If everything is set up during the pre-trip phase, then trip day should go as smoothly as possible. Remember to follow through with those phone calls to the airport and airlines, getting help through the airport, if needed (including a wheelchair) and assistance getting through security and onboard the plane. 

Other tips for the day of your flight include:

  • Arrive at least two hours before your flight is scheduled to depart to avoid feeling rushed
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Invest in plane seats with plenty of legroom (and close to the bathroom)
  • Bring plenty of snacks and water
  • Carry a list of emergency contacts in carryon baggage
  • Never hesitate to ask for assistance

Tips For After the Flight

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, there are other issues to deal with, including the following. Putting these tips in action can further reduce travel stress for the elderly.

Get assistance through airport. Follow through with the contact made with the destination airport during the pre-trip phase, ensuring you have wheelchairs or other assistance needed for the seniors as they deplane and exit the airport.

Double check ground transportation. Transportation should have been arranged during the pre-flight phase. Double check as soon as you have cell phone service to ensure that they are ready to meet you once you collect your baggage.

Wash hands. Wash everyone’s hands thoroughly in the destination airport bathroom or clean them with a sanitizer.

Drink Water. People often limit what they drink on the flight to cut down on trips to the bathroom. Make sure that once they get off the plane, seniors drink plenty of water. The air inside an airplane is dry, so they should drink water even if they don’t feel thirsty.

What to Eat Before and After a Flight

Get rest. Don’t make extra stops once you arrive. Take the seniors directly to the hotel or new residence where they can rest. This is especially needed if it’s a long flight.

These tips can help make long distance senior relocation by airplane go as smoothly as possible. Put them into action as you begin to plan the trip.

What is Relocation Stress Syndrome?

What is Relocation Stress Syndrome?

Relocation Stress Syndrome

Relocation stress syndrome is a condition that arises when an older adult moves from their long-time home to a different residence. While changing location provides many benefits, it also can lead to feelings of loneliness, anxiety and confusion.

Understanding the causes and symptoms of relocation stress syndrome is a key component of providing quality senior relocation services. By taking steps to better understand what seniors experience during a late-in-life move, service providers and families can better deal with any issues that might arise.

Relocation Stress Syndrome Often Involves More Than Just Moving

Moving is stressful for people at all ages. However, this stress rises to the level of relocation stress syndrome when it begins to impact a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.

With seniors, this often happens because a life changing event occurred, leading to the need for a move. For example, many seniors move after an injury limits their mobility. Other events that can lead to a move include a medical diagnosis, loss of a family member or a natural disaster.

Add any of these events to the stress of the move itself, and it’s easy to see how this can quickly become overwhelming.

How to Reduce Travel Stress for the Elderly

Relocation Stress Syndrome Symptoms

Relocation stress syndrome can manifest itself in many different ways. The symptoms for some may appear obvious, including changes in health, personality or disposition. Others may exhibit more subtle changes. 

It’s important for family members and anyone helping with a senior location to understand signs of relocation stress syndrome. They include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Apprehension
  • Confusion
  • Dependency
  • Depression
  • Insecurity
  • Loneliness
  • Withdrawal

In some seniors, the feelings of confusion and anxiety can lead to increased falls, self-care deficits and weight loss, according to the Board on Aging and Long-Term Care in Wisconsin. They also list body aches, nausea, difficulty sleeping, headaches and stomach problems as potential symptoms.

Some seniors are more likely to experience relocation stress syndrome than others. For example, those who live alone may be more set in their routine than others and may experience more difficulties in having that routine disrupted. This can especially become an issue with men and women who lost a spouse or those suffering from cognitive conditions.

Tips For Flying with a Person Who Has Dementia

Reducing Risk of Relocation Stress Syndrome

Staying involved with the life of the senior can make relocation stress syndrome less of an issue. This is especially important at the beginning, as they can help seniors establish daily routines until they become accustomed to their new surroundings.

Another key is keeping seniors involved with the transition process, making sure that you try to meet their needs. Rather than ignoring their fears and concerns, give them a chance to voice them as many times as it takes. Work with them to find solutions. Doing so accomplishes a very important goal: validating their feelings.

Some seniors may also want to recreate their old home in their new place. If so, helping them set up their belongings to match where they used to live is a great way to provide them support. Families should also encourage seniors to get involved with activities and hobbies at their new location.

Relocation stress syndrome is a real issue that families should remain aware of and prepare themselves to manage. It can make the difference between a move that goes smoothly and one that causes trauma for seniors.

How to Relocate Your Parents

How to Avoid Common Travel Scams

How to Avoid Common Travel Scams

Avoid Common Travel Scams

For senior travelers, it’s important to stay aware of the many types of common travel scams ready to trip them up. Scammers are always looking for ways to separate people from their money, but awareness of the problem is at least half the battle.

The following looks at some common travel scams and ways to avoid them. It’s something every senior traveler should know about, as they often are the target of shady people while on vacation. They’re also good to know for adult children flying with elderly parents.

Common Travel Scams and How to Avoid Them

Even the smartest of senior travelers might fall victim to a travel scam. Part of that is because criminals have become more sophisticated in their approach. People also naturally have their guard down while on vacation. However, it’s still possible to relax while taking a trip but also remain aware of these common travel scams.


Timeshare scams happen before people ever leave the house, but it’s worth listing here because so many people build trips around timeshare ownership. Timeshares involve a property sold to multiple buyers, with each buyer getting a set amount of time to use the property each year. They’re popular because they make vacations to exotic locales affordable. They also attract scammers who offer deals (such as free nights at the timeshare) that don’t exist. Once you buy a timeshare, a common scam is to offer you a chance to sell it for a fee paid upfront. The solution is to always thoroughly research the company offering the timeshare (or buying/selling services) to ensure it is legit.

Taxi Scam

The most common taxi scam involves a driver taking a longer route than necessary to a destination. Travelers unfamiliar with the area have no idea they are getting scammed. Avoid this by researching your route on Google Maps beforehand and letting the driver know you understand the most direct route to your destination. Another common taxi scam is claiming the meter is broken and charging a ridiculously high rate. Avoid this by either negotiating a price upfront or ensuring the meter is working before you get into the taxi.

7 Mistakes to Avoid While Travelling

The Hotel Switch

This also happens with taxi drivers. They will tell you that the hotel you are staying in is overbooked or a “bad” hotel, then take you to a different hotel where they receive a commission for delivering new guests. Avoid this by calling ahead to ensure your hotel is not overbooked, or simply insisting that the driver take you to your original hotel.

The Free Item Is Not Free

Another common travel scam is for a stranger to approach you in a public place and put a friendship bracelet on your wrist or hand you a small “welcoming gift,” then demand money for it and cause a scene if you don’t pay. Avoid this by never accepting anything handed to you by a stranger or letting someone put something on you.


Pickpockets still work in tourist areas and near public transportation, such as train or bus stations. Avoid this by never putting valuable items in your front or back pockets. Use a concealed money belt or a zippered crossbody bag.

Renting Transportation

Motorcycle, jet ski and moped rentals in foreign countries may ask to retain your passport when you rent, then claim you caused damage to the rental and hold your passport until you pay a fee (which most people will do, because losing their passport is terrifying). Rent transport through your hotel if it is available. Wherever you went, take pictures of the rental to record existing damage and discuss it with the rental agency, so you don’t get blamed for it later.

Juice Jacking

A relatively new scam involves swiping information from your smartphone when you plug it into a USB port to power up your battery. Scammers configure the port to load malware that can lock your phone or steal passwords, files, contacts, texts, and voicemails. In some cases, the malware makes a backup of the entire phone. Juice jacking most often occurs at airports, shopping malls and other public places that provide free charging stations for mobile devices.

Avoid this scam by always plugging directly into an AC outlet, not into a USB port charging station. You can also buy a protective attachment called a USB data blocker (or USB condom) that sits between the charging cable and the USB charging station, blocking all connections to the phone other than power transfer.

These are some of the most common travel scams that senior travelers face. Avoiding scams is second nature for RN flight coordinators who book their client’s entire trip. It’s a good choice for those who have difficulty flying on their own. Flight nurses accompany seniors and others with injuries or conditions, ensuring they have constant, reliable medical care during their journey. They also know the signs of common travel scams.

Can I Hire a Nurse to Fly With Me?

Flying With Elderly Parents

Flying With Elderly Parents

Flying With Elderly Parents | Air Travel With Senior Parents Tips

At some point, many adult children must manage flying with elderly parents. In some cases, it’s necessary to fly parents to a new home if they decide to retire or need to be closer to family. Another common reason is to bring elderly parents to a family get-together in a location far from their home.

Whatever the case, going into the experience with a plan based on tips from experts can help the process go smoother. The following ideas come from years of providing non-emergency medical flight services for all types of travelers who face difficulty flying on their own. That includes elderly parents.

Strategies to Make Flying With Elderly Parents Easier

There’s no one magic step to take that makes flying with elderly parents easier, but a series of smart strategies can reduce the risk that things will go wrong. If everything falls into place – and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t – putting these tips into practice can make the journey much easier.

Talk to Physician

Before booking a flight, talk with your parents’ physician about any tips they have for flying with people who have your parents’ conditions and/or illnesses. List all the prescription drugs they need to take on the flight, as well as writing down the dosages and time of day to take each medication. The doctor can also give your parents a checkup and ensure they have no issues that could prevent them from flying.

Booking the Trip

When flying with elderly parents, take steps to make travel as easy as possible. Look for direct flights rather than making them meet a connection and switch planes, even if it costs a bit more. If you use an airline that allows you to pick a specific seat, get one on the aisle near the front of the plane to make boarding and deplaning easier (as well as any trips to the restroom).

How to Buy an Airline Ticket for Someone

Request Special Services

Special services can include a wide range of issues. For example, if your parents have a disability, request seats that airlines set aside for the disabled. Other requests that can improve air travel for seniors include a wheelchair and special screening lines at security.

Going Through Security

In addition to requesting a special line for those with disabilities or medical equipment, keep in mind that all medications and equipment – including walkers and wheelchairs – must go through the screening process. Security may allow those 75 and older to go through security wearing shoes and a light jacket. Your parents can travel with liquid medication if you alert the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent about its presence. Also tell TSA agents about any special medical-related items, such as ice packs or syringes.

What is a TSA Notification Card?

Manage Medication

You should come to travel day with a rock solid plan for managing medication. This is of critical importance because it can prove difficult to get medication in some locations. Tips include keeping the medication in the original bottles, which makes it easier to prove what the pills are (this is especially important for international travel). Also, place them in carry-on bags, not check-in luggage. Pack extra medication and take water bottles onboard so they can easily take pills.

Extra Time

The most useful strategy of all is to plan ahead carefully and give yourself plenty of time for each step of the airport process. It’s bad enough to rush when you’re on your own and trying to catch a flight. It’s many orders of magnitude worse trying to rush with elderly parents (in fact, it’s next to impossible). Give yourself, and your parents, plenty of time to get through the process at a comfortable pace. 

Working With a Flight Nurse

If you hire an experienced flight nurse with a non-emergency medical transport company, they take many of the issues listed above off your plate. A flight nurse coordinator books all the flights for you. A flight nurse joins you and your elderly parents throughout the entire travel day, from the moment you leave the house until your arrival at your destination. They manage medications, call ahead to make arrangements with security, make any special requests needed and provide any medical care needed during the flight itself. Flying with elderly parents is possible if you plan ahead and take all the right steps during the travel day. Having a professional flight nurse along during the trip can lead to less stress and the peace of mind knowing your parents are getting the best care possible.

Speak With an RN Flight Coordinator Now

Can I Fly With a Broken Leg?

Can I Fly With a Broken Leg?

Can I Fly With a Broken Leg? | Commercial AirTravel While Injured

It’s possible to fly with a broken leg or any other broken or fractured bone if a doctor clears you for flying. However, there are rules and regulations that everyone should know about, as well as best practices to make the trip as comfortable as possible.

The first, more important step is getting the green light to fly from a physician. That includes your regular physician at home or a doctor in another location if you are injured while on vacation and require medical reparation. 

Experienced flight nurses like those who work for Flying Angels have years of experience in aviation physiology and understand how to manage medical treatment for those with many different illnesses and conditions, including broken bones.

Best Practices To Fly With a Broken Leg

The following provides an overview of the process you must go through if you want to fly with a broken leg. Keep in mind that a non-emergency medical transport company deals with many of these issues if you decide to fly with a flight nurse.

Speak With Physician

Do not book a flight until a physician gives you clearance to fly. This is especially an issue if the broken or fractured bone happened recently. In the first days after a break occurs, swelling is a frequent issue and may worsen if you sit on a long flight. The chance of a blood clot may increase with a broken leg, too, especially on a long flight. Follow whatever advice they give you and wait until they decide you may safely travel.

7 Mistakes to Avoid While Travelling

Contact the Airline

Reach out to the airline and find out if they have any rules prohibiting people from flying with the type of cast you have on your leg. It’s also possible you may need to purchase an extra seat in order to stretch your leg out during the flight. This is also the time to make any special requests you might have, such as requiring a wheelchair. Also, when booking the flight, request a bulkhead seat for more leg room, or at least an aisle seat.

Passenger Assistance on Commercial Airline FAQs


Pack any medication you are taking for the broken leg in your carry-on bags, not your checked-in luggage. Make sure to have water available so you can take your pills when necessary.

Extra Time

Arrive early at the airport to give yourself extra time to get through check in and security. You will likely need extra time at security, as you can expect them to physically check out your cast, including the possibility they will swab it to detect explosives. If you use crutches or a wheelchair, they also will go through the metal detector.

What is a Medical Travel Companion?


Airlines provide a window early on in boarding for those with special conditions – including those with a broken leg – to board before anyone else, allowing you to get situated before the main rush of passengers boards the plane.

At any point, don’t hesitate to ask for help from airport or airline personnel. If you do not fly with a nurse, consider bringing someone to the airport with you to help get to security (or to the gate if allowed).  While obviously not an ideal situation, you can fly with a broken leg if you take the proper medical precautions and follow best practices at the airport and on the plane. You also want to consider hiring a flight nurse who can handle many of these issues for you, as well as give you the peace of mind of having an experienced medical care provider with you throughout your trip.

How to Help Air Travelers with Developmental Disabilities

How to Help Air Travelers with Developmental Disabilities

Air Travelers with Developmental Disabilities

Air travel provides the fastest and safest way for people to make a long journey, but those with disabilities face obstacles when dealing with crowded airports, cramped airplane seating and security lines. However, air travelers with developmental disabilities can travel by air if they make the proper plans and follow smart precautions.

Air travelers with developmental disabilities have the ability to fly under provisions of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), enforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The ACAA makes it illegal for airlines to discriminate against passengers because of a disability. The law applies to flights to, from, or within the United States.

Flight nurses who work with non-emergency medical transport (NEMT) companies can help air travelers with developmental disabilities make long journeys by coordinating the trip and providing medical care during the flight.

Rights Under the ACAA

The ACAA mandates that airlines provide air travelers with developmental disabilities certain types of assistance. They offer online videos and information to airline employees on the details of these services. For those with disabilities who plan to travel, it’s helpful to read and watch the material to get a better understanding of the support they have when traveling.

The areas of assistance include:

  • Wheelchair or other guided assistance to board, deplane, or connect to another flight
  • Seating accommodation assistance that meets passengers’ disability-related needs
  • Assistance with the loading and stowing of assistive devices
  • Service animals

Common Challenges During Air Travel

Some of the areas where a NEMT flight nurse can benefit a traveler with disabilities is helping them overcome these common challenges. 

  • Assistance for those with wheelchairs. A report from the DOT listed this as the No. 1 complaint they receive from disabled travelers.
  • Bathroom access. For those who use a wheelchair, a special request often must be made in advance to have a narrow wheelchair that can allow people to get down the aisle to the bathroom.
  • Service animals. Some mistake a service animal for an emotional support animal – they are not the same. However, this can cause confusion in airports at times. 

Flight schedules also can cause issues, especially making a connection with little time available. A highly valued service for air travelers with developmental disabilities comes from RN flight coordinators who handle every aspect of travel plans, including working with airports and airlines for any needed special accommodations.

Those accommodations include special seating considerations and letting the airlines know about any medical equipment they plan to bring onboard. During the trip, flight nurses manage all the traveler’s medications and equipment. They also are specifically trained to provide any needed medical treatment at high altitudes.

What is Aviation Physiology?

Other Tips for Air Travelers With Developmental Disabilities

  • Arrive early. Get to the airport with plenty of time – at least a couple of hours – to check in, get through security and reach your gate. 
  • Check in. At check-in, let the airline personnel know you have arrived and ask for any assistance through the airport, if needed.
  • Security. TSA has a hotline and other resources people can use for information about going through security with a disability. 
  • At the gate. Check in at the desk to ensure that you’re on the list for pre-boarding.
  • At the destination. Prearrange transportation to pick you up at your destination.

Air travelers with developmental disabilities can still enjoy travel by planning ahead. They also can benefit from getting support during their journey from experienced NEMT flight nurses and RN flight coordinators.

What is a TSA Notification Card?