Aging Parents and the Airport Body Scanner

English: Instructions poster published by Tran...

In the interest of helping aging parents age well, when I flew to California this morning I arrived early enough to be able speak with a TSA person about body scanners and older people who must go through the scanning process. I learned the following:

  • It’s important that NOTHING is in pockets–no forgotten kleenex–not even a small, squnched-up piece of kleenex; even lint in a pocket has been known to cause suspicion and produce a body search, I was told. So it’s important that old people understand the importance of empty pockets.
  • If aging parents or grandparents are in the habit of keeping a kleenex in the sleeve of a sweater or other garment, make certain it’s gone before going through the scan.
  • The far-away person watching the scan, is accustomed to seeing prostheses, knee and hip replacements–no doubt all replacements. If they are metal, no problem. They’re visible. The scanner is less disruptive than the metal detector in this regard.

Having parents and grandparents come for a visit is usually very special for far-away-living children and grandchildren. To ensure the travel process isn’t derailed by unpleasant experiences, we want to be certain aging parents and grandparents are aware of the bulleted facts above. Less stress when going through airport screening to reconnect with family and friends, just has to be a factor in helping parents age well and having them look forward to visiting us again.

Changing often: “Of Current Interest” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities, plus some fun stuff–to help parents age well.

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