Patient Daily Living

Tips to Help Seniors Have a Comfortable and Healthy Flight

By Steve Barlam

Make airplane travel less taxing by planning ahead. Get tips to for a healthier flight. 

Seniors who travel by air know that flying can be somewhat hard on the body. Long walks in terminals, disrupted meal times and many hours sitting in a closed, crowded environment can make even the most well-planned trip feel physically taxing.

This need not be the case. By taking a handful of simple steps to prepare for plane travel, seniors can ensure a more comfortable and healthier flying experience.

Preflight Planning

For more pleasant senior travel, lighten the load before you leave for the airport by packing light. Check all baggage before you board, taking a minimal amount through airport security and onto the plane. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. If possible, request an aisle seat that allows for easy access to the bathroom and allows you to move about during the flight.

Airplane Travel Aids

Items like noise-reduction headphones and a travel pillow can help create a more restful environment, particularly on long flights. Pack compression stockings in a carry-on and slip them on after boarding to help reduce the risk of blood clots. Pack a nose-and-mouth guard or mask and wear it in-flight to help reduce exposure to infectious, airborne bacteria.


Make sure to pack a snack bar or other foods in anticipation of unexpected delays. Study the in-flight meal schedule prior to boarding and prepare accordingly. This is particularly important if the senior is on medication or needs to manage chronic health issues such as diabetes. Likewise, purchase bottled water once through security and keep it handy during the flight to prevent dehydration and combat jet lag.


Plan in advance when carrying medications through security and onto the plane to avoid having them confiscated. To do this, bring a doctor's note confirming any needed medication. Also, prepare an in-flight medication schedule, particularly if crossing multiple time zones, to assure the right medicines are taken at the right times. A pill organizer can help keep to a schedule.

Taking these simple steps can make air travel less taxing on the body, making the whole experience more pleasant and leaving a senior in better shape to enjoy the rest of his or her trip.

- Written By

Steve Barlam

Steve Barlam co-founded LivHOME in 1999 with Mike Nicholson, Chief Executive Officer. Since 1984, Steve has worked exclusively in the field of geriatric care management. His experience draws from work in both the nonprofit family services arena as well as from his own private for-profit care management firm.