Home THE JOURNEY Road Trip How to Make Roadtrip with Senior in a Wheelchair Stress-Free

How to Make Roadtrip with Senior in a Wheelchair Stress-Free

Sharing new memories with older adults is precious, but the trip should be well-organized to avoid any accidents. The following are some tips that can help you have a wonderful time with your senior companion while at the same time making sure that they are comfortable and safe.

Pre-Trip Preparations

The first step is to consult the senior’s healthcare provider. Share any health issues, walking difficulties, or other conditions that are likely to require attention during the tour. Bring along required prescriptions and other medical essentials like catheters, dressings, or an oxygen tank to avoid running out during the trip.

Before organizing a car ride for a senior in a wheelchair, you should focus on the characteristics of the wheelchair itself. If you intend to transport your elderly in their standard wheelchair, make sure that it is portable and appropriate for travel. Some of the features you should look for include a light and collapsible frame to enhance portability and sturdiness to endure the journey.

However, renting a travel wheelchair for long trips may be more suitable as they are specially meant for use during rides. Travel wheelchairs can be lightweight, small in size for better navigation in confined areas, and easily collapsible into several parts for easy storage. Some wheelchair models come with special features such as cup holders, storage areas, and non-puncture tires. Traveling with a regular wheelchair for your senior companion means that you will have to disassemble and reassemble the chair several times, which can be stressful and damaging to the chair. However, make sure that the rented chair is highly adjustable for the comfort and safety of your loved one.

Identify available accessibility accommodations along the route you intend to take. Search for accommodations that provide wheelchair-friendly rooms that include features such as a roll-in shower, grab bars and wide doors. Check for restaurants that provide seating and restrooms accessible to wheelchair users.

Plan where you should stop for a break and where you can go in case of an emergency. Locate available rest areas, gas stations, and emergency services in the planned route. Prepare an emergency kit with bare essentials such as first aid kits, food, water, wheelchair batteries, and any other devices needed in case of an emergency.

Check your car for readiness for the trip. If you do not own a WV, consider renting one that is equipped with a wheelchair ramp or a lift. Get adequate mobility aids and accessories, for instance, a ramp or transfer board to enable easy transfer. Ensure the senior’s wheelchair is properly secured during travel to avoid any wobbling and slipping off.

On the Road

Timing and planning are quite important to ensure maximum comfort during the road trip. Take regular short stops to stretch and visit the restrooms so to avoid feeling tired. Try to avoid peak hours and traffic jams, as this may be extremely straining for people with limited mobility.

Consider the aspects of accessibility during the trip. Going through parking lots, doors, and other crowded spaces may prove to be more challenging. Plan in advance for the most convenient paths and access points in order to avoid such problems.

Other essential factors to consider are dining and restroom facilities. Find out which restaurants and restrooms are wheelchair accessible along your intended route of travel. Always expect to face some barriers like narrow doors or the absence of grab bars. Ensure that you have the portable device with you, or look for another solution.

Make sure your senior maintains the correct posture to avoid the development of pressure ulcers in their skin. Make sure they drink plenty of water and get enough food. Use the chance to stretch a bit and reposition when it’s possible.

Creating Memorable Experiences

Do not lose a chance of making those great impressions along the road trip. Modify the activities according to your senior’s capability and preferences in terms of sights, food, and shows.

Partake in activities that can be done while being seated in the car, for instance, listen to music or an audiobook or enjoy nature through the windows. Engage your older adult in a conversation, and help him or her recall past adventures by discussing those memories.

Take pictures and videos of your trips, and make sure that all the family members are in. Embrace flexibility and be prepared to make adjustments as needed. This could be altering your schedule or finding alternative activities to accommodate unexpected circumstances.


A road trip with a senior in a wheelchair is not easy to plan, but it is possible and definitely worth the effort to create happy memories with family members. It means to accept the unpredictability and appreciate the quality time spent together.

By being patient, accommodating, and mindful of your senior companion’s needs, you can transform a potentially challenging experience into an exciting road trip. Therefore, get ready for your accessible adventure and let the journey begin with lots of joyous moments and special memories.