The Seven Do’s and Don’ts of Transporting the Elderly

Here are some simple “Do’s and Don’ts” to remember when traveling with the elderly:

1. Do provide an extra pillow or soft booster for your loved one. As we get older, we often experience a collapsing of the spinal cord that can make it uncomfortable to extended periods of time. Better yet, keep a couple of cushions of different sizes on hand, one to sit on and another to support the back.

2. Don’t assume the passenger-side air bag is safest. To a frail, elderly individual, that air bag may be a hazard. Depending on the medical condition, you may qualify to have the air bag deactivated. Only an authorized dealer or repair shop can install the on/off switch, with an approved form from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

3. Do check that the seat belt rub and make your loved one uncomfortable. A booster cushion to raise the body or a soft cloth around the part that rubs against the skin can help.

4. Don’t leave your loved one in a closed car while you run in to do an errand. If you leave the car running, your loved one just may try to drive it away. Someone with dementia or even mild confusion might wander off. A quick errand can turn into a big episode in an instance.

5. Do pack an emergency bag. You never know when you may need it. You should include: a change of clothes…including underwear, spare absorbent pads, or absorbent underwear if used; a sweater and hat of some sort; snacks such as granola bars and water bottles; extra medication such as glucose tabs.

6. Don’t forget bathroom breaks.While you may be able to go three or four hours without a bathroom break or a beverage, remember that your loved one may find that difficult. Take regular breaks.

7. Do make it a fun experience for them! Play some oldies or classical music, especially if the person tends to be grumpy. Take a lunch break at a spot you know has special appeal to your loved one.

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Operation Fuel

“Operation Fuel” for Connecticut Seniors, is designed to help seniors pay for their heating costs this winter, including a one-time “energy grant” of up to $500.

Eligibility is based on gross annual household income, liquid assets and a documented crisis. The number of people living in the household determines the income and asset limits. One household member must be at least 65 years old. The program is also known as the Elderly Home Heating Assistance Program (EHHAP).

If you’d like to see if this program can help you out this season you should call 2-1-1 to discuss your eligibility and possible benefits.

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