Travelling has become part and parcel with modern-day life. From staycations, to visiting new countries and long-haul trips – many generations are choosing to spend their hard-earned money travelling.
And it’s not just 20-somethings. Even single elderly people would be willing travel. According to research, 35% of 55-64-year-olds would travel alone, and 31% of over 65’s would go solo on a trip. This in turn makes them the most open to travel of any age group.
However, travelling can be harder and harder as you get older. As things change, it can be more and more unnerving to travel alone as technology moves on. Therefore, making sure the older generation can still travel with confidence is vital.
We take a closer look at the phenomenon and how we can help the elderly get out and about.
Why is Travel Healthy for the Older Generation?
With many elderly individuals looking to travel, it’s not all about the sightseeing. For many, it’s less about what they are going to do or who they are going to see, but more about maintaining their independence. After all, if they can travel by themselves, they can easily get to appointments or to see friends and family, which will in turn boost mental health.
But that’s not all – travelling keeps seniors active as they will be out and about experiencing the world. Whilst they may not be moving during the whole trip, they are far more likely to be more active than they would be otherwise. Therefore by staying active, travel can have some physical health benefits, such as reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
Travelling is also a good mental challenge as it presents new barriers and problems for people to overcome. It is said to build brain health and resilience and can be a great way for elderly people to keep their minds and bodies sharp.
However, travelling is not always easy for the older generation. With increased technology, it can be tricky getting to grips with the new way of travelling.
How Can Travel be Made more Accessible?
Firstly, many over 65s suffer with mobility issues. Therefore, one way to make travel more accessible for the older generation is to make sure that there are sufficient lifts and stairlifts to take pensioners safely to their destinations.
Secondly, many elderly people have blurred vision due to their eyes not being what they once were. By having large, printed signage, this can greatly help people to feel confident when traveling.
Finally, with many OAPs receiving their pensions, cost is also a factor. One way to make travel more accessible for the elderly is to have affordable rail tickets. Fortunately, many rail companies now have discounted tickets available for senior citizens to help overcome this barrier.
Whilst there are certainly barriers to the older generations getting out and about, many travel companies are putting schemes in place to help reduce obstacles when it comes to travel. The importance of getting senior citizens out and about for their physical and mental health is not to be underestimated, so it’s something that should be encouraged by businesses and individuals alike.