Traveling during the holidays is not just for young families, but also for grandparents and those with loved ones across the globe. More and more people over 50 are jet-setting to see out of town relatives this holiday season, or vacationing themselves during the winter months.
Though travel appeals to people of all ages, it differs for people of all ages as well. The carefree “pack a bag and go” attitude shared by many a young traveler is not is not the same when traveling with the elderly, who must take several safety precautions to ensure the trip will be safe as well as enjoyable. Below are a few tips from The American Geriatric Society Foundation for Healthy Aging. You can also download a tip sheet.
- Senior family members, talk to your doctor in advance. They may suggest a full checkup, before your trip begins. Explain any travel plans, particularly which cities or countries you plan to visit and what your travel itinerary is. Different locales call for different precautionary measures, and your doctor can discuss with you specific measures to take depending on where you will be going. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists various required and recommended vaccines based on certain travel destinations. Once you’ve outlined the vaccines needed, call the Crittenton Travel Medicine offices for more information to prepare for your trip.
- When speaking with your doctor and pharmacist, it’s also best to ask when to take medications. While this is less of a concern for travelers who are staying within their own time zones, it’s important for travelers changing time zones to learn if they should stick to their home-time-zone schedule or adapt. Even travelers who are staying within their time zone should ask their physician if it’s best to take certain medications before or after a flight.
- Pack all necessary medications in your carry-on bag. Most travelers have their own horror stories about losing checked baggage. For older men and women on medication, this can be especially troubling if their medications are packed in bags that were checked. Many people utilize pill-carriers or organizers. Their locations can also help with other travel tips and planning tools to ensure that you have what you need while away from home.
- Another important thing to remember is not to transfer pills to new containers. Veteran travelers know getting through Customs is no joy ride. It’s even less enjoyable for men and women who must take prescription medications with them.
- Before leaving home, make a list with your physician’s help and carry it with you at all times. This list should include:
- any existing medical conditions
- current treatment for those medical conditions, including the names of any medications you are on, the doses and how these medications are administered
- the amount of the drug you need to take on the trip (this will be important should any medications be lost or damaged while traveling)
- Take steps to avoid deep-vein thrombosis. Deep-vein thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when blood clots form in the veins. This typically takes place in the legs because of a lack of blood flow. Older adults are at risk of DVT when traveling because it requires sitting in one place, such as on an airplane or train, for long periods of time. Research has indicated that compression stockings are effective at preventing DVT, and older travelers might want to consider such stockings, particularly if their travels require a long flight, drive or train ride. Crittenton Medical Equipment has several types of compression stockings and additional information needed on ways to prevent DVT.
These are just a few tips that will help you travel during the holiday season. For those of you who travel and have loved ones who may need an extra hand around the house while you’re away, calling Crittenton Home Care is the perfect way to ensure that everyone enjoys a safe and happy holiday.