Each year millions of seniors travel on our roads and airways. While many people find traveling somewhat inconvenient, for seniors with health problems it can be quite a challenge. Traveling long distances may often involve changes in a person's normal sleep pattern, urinary pattern and diet. The person may also be traveling to a part of the world where the weather, pollution, or altitude could vary significantly from what they are used to. While some situations may arise unexpectedly, seniors can take the following steps when they are planning their dream vacation:
* Don't forget to bring all your medications. Always bring an extra view days' worth in case your trip runs longer than you expected. * Keep your medications with you in your carry-on luggage. Don't put them with your check-in luggage. If you use syringes for insulin or narcotic medications for pain, bring documentation from your doctor or pharmacist, to avoid problems with security personnel on the airport. Many third world countries do not have the medical facilities you have grown accustomed to. If you get injured abroad, you may be in big trouble. So don't take any changes by doing risky activities, such as climbing ladders, swimming after drinking alcohol, and so on. * Get travel insurance if you are traveling to a foreign country, where you are not covered by medicare. In some countries the health care facilities are so poor that you will get out of there as soon as possible in case of a medical emergency. If you need to be airlifted, it can cost anywhere between thirty thousand to a hundred thousand dollars, depending on where you are. Make sure you know the restrictions and clauses that address preexisting conditions. * Since heart attacks can happen overseas, it's a good idea to bring a copy of your recent EKG. In many cases one of the fastest ways to tell if there is a problem with your heart is to check an EKG and compare it with an old one. * Consider how you will be traveling. You may want to hire a car or taxi rather than using congested public transport or driving on unfamiliar roads. * Check to make sure that you don't need any additional immunizations when traveling abroad. You can find out these things on line. In the US by visiting: www.cdc.gov. * Additional vaccines may include one or more of the following: hepatitis A and B tetanus booster (every ten years) typhoid fever yellow fever Don't wait until the day or the week before your departure to get your vaccinations. Some vaccines may take weeks before they start to protect you from an infection. Most likely your GP may not have these immunizations available. You may need to go to a travel medicine clinic or your local health department. Be careful to follow all recommendations regarding the local food and water. Older adults are more vulnerable to becoming dehydrated from traveler's diarrhea. It is recommended to take a five day course of an antibiotic, such as ciprofloxacin ( Cipro), with you and probably some Immodium for diarrhea. Be sure to check with your local GP before making medication changes. Make sure you leave a copy of your itinerary with your family or friends. In case of an emergency you want to make sure that someone can contact you.
Because of the disruption that occurs with traveling, (change in sleep schedule, diet, etc.) diabetics need to be more careful about checking their blood sugar. Bring an extra set of eye classes Bring comfortable food wear. Bring an alcohol based hand wash. At high altitudes the air contains less oxygen. If you have congestive heart failure, heart disease, anemia, or COPD/emphysema, check with your doctor before traveling to a place that is at hgh altitude. This decrease in oxygen can even be a problem during the airplane trip itself. Ask your doctor about whether supplemental oxygen will be of any benefit for you. If you are going to a third world country, avoid wearing perfume, as this can attract flying insects that carry diseases. You may want to consider using an insect repellant as well.
Is it save for grandma to travel alone on an airplane?
Airlines are not required to transfer passengers from wheelchair to wheelchair, wheelchair to aircraft seat, or wheelchair to lavatory seat. Futhermore, airline personnel are not obliged to assist with feeding, bodily functions, or providing medication to passengers. Disabled passengers who can't transfer themselves or care for themselves should travel with a companon or an attendant.
Some extra tips for traveling with a frail senior
Bring an extra set of underwear and pants for your loved one. You never know if and when an accident may occur. You can bring cards to hand to staff and other passengers to tell people that your loved one has dementia. If you are traveling with someone with dementia, remember that the greater the disruption to their normal schedule for sleeping, eating, and activities, the higher the risk that the person will become delirious.
Preventing blood clots in your legs when traveling.
Doctors have known for many years that seniors are at particular risk for developing blood clots in their legs after traveling long distances by plane, car, train or bus.
When traveling by car, stop every hour or two to stretch and walk around. Failure to do so may result in increasing the risk of lower back pain, but more importantly, of developing a blood clot in the leg known as "deep vein thrombosis" (DVT). The risk of dangerous blood clots increases importantly with sitting for more than five hours. When traveling by plane, train or bus, get up and walk around every hour or two. Take a low-dose (81 mg) aspirin daily. Wear compression hose. Use foot stretches to flex the calf muscles and leg stretches to flex the thigh muscles. Stay well hydrated while traveling. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
Fighting jet lag
People experience jet lag whenever while traveling three or more time zones have to be crossed,. which in general is felt by older people more severe than by younger travelers. Jet lag differs from the travel fatigue that occurs due to difficulty sleeping, changes in diet, and other difficulties associated with traveling. While travel fatigue is cured with a good night sleep, people suffering from jet lag may need several days to completely adjust to their new environment.
Traveling Eastbound If you are traveling to the east you will have to adjust your body to wake up one hour later and to go to bed one hour earlier each night for three nights before your trip. When you get in Italy, for example, the clock on the nightstand says 11 PM, but your body still thinks that it is only 3 PM. Some suggestions to prevent eastbound jet lag are:
Wake up an hour earlier each day before your trip. Light therapy – turn on bright lights when waking up Melatonin – doses of 0.5 mg have proved to be as effective as doses of 3 mg. However, most studies that analyzed whether melatonin was helpful for jet lag involved only younger people.
Studies have shown that people who used all three of these methods decreased their jet lag symptoms.
Traveling Westbound When traveling from New York to Hawaii, your body will think that it is nighttime when in reality it is afternoon. Some things that you should do when traveling Westbound are: When you arrive, try to stay awake while it is daylight and to go to sleep when it gets dark. Avoid caffeine and alcohol Eat at the times the locals eat....unless the custom is to eat at 1 o'clock in the morning!
Traveling to dangerous places You should take some basic steps and be aware of your new environment: Stay out of the “bad” part of town Talk to the staff at the hotel where you stay to be informed about which neighborhoods are save to walk around at night. Don't wear any jewelry
Don't leave your common sense at home
Just because you are on vacation does not mean your brain should go on vacation too. There are some things who are common sense which you need to remember: Wear sunsceen when you are outside Wear seatbelts Don't get drunk Be extra careful when riding a motorbike. Stay out of dangerous nuighborhoods
In recent years, many people have traveled to other countries for the purpose of receiving medical treatment a lot cheaper than in their own country. If you find that you can save money this way, you need to be aware of the following problems: What if you have a complication and get very sick in a strange country? What if you have a complication from the surgery you received abroad when you return? Where do you find a doctor to fix the problem once you return?
When a senior decide to travel or to buy a retirement home, there are important issues to consider. Don't just impulsively act. Think carefully and plan ahead! Travel and vacations are supposed to be fun, planning ahead can keep the experience positive.
About the Author: Adrian Joele became interested in nutrition and weight management while he was an associate with a nutritional supplement company. Since 2008 he wrote several articles about nutrition and weight loss and achieved expert status with Ezine Articles.com. He has been involved in nutrition and weight management for more than 12 years and he likes to share his knowledge with anyone who could benefit from it. Get his free report on nutrition and tips for healthy living, by visiting: http://www.nutrobalance2.net
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