Travelling with Seniors
Travelling together with your retired parents can be a very exciting experience. It would be a great activity to bond together as family, and share new experiences to cherish. However, to make the trip smooth, it requires proper planning to ensure that the elderlies are comfortable and convenient on your part as well.
Upon booking the tickets, it is important to get them checked up to your physician. This is to know whether or not the elderly is capable of travelling. Additionally, it will also give the doctor and the patient about the necessary medications and vaccinations needed for the travel.
If the elderly has chronic sickness or previous medication history, request for a medical report from your physician. The report should indicate the summary of the illness such as the description, background, historical cases and test results.
Choosing a destination
Carefully choose your type of holiday. Flying and vacationing at high altitudes, even in large cities like Mexico City and La Paz, could provoke an imbalance in a cardiac or respiratory deficiency problem that is normally well-balanced and under control.
Time difference is an important criteria that must be taken into account when taking certain medications like insulin. Have your doctor explain the best way to go about this.
In tropical countries, dehydration related to excessively hot temperatures and more particularly to a possible local “tourista”, can be very serious. It’s essential that you adopt strict hygiene practices – regularly wash your hands with soap and water, only drink bottled mineral water, drink at least 2 – 3 litres of water a day, peel all fruits, avoid eating raw vegetables, shellfish, reheated meals and raw meat.
During the preparatory visit, make sure your doctor checks your vaccination booklet, notably for standard vaccinations and those that are more specifically related to your travel plans.
All travellers must have up-to-date vaccinations for tetanus, polio and diphtheria. Other vaccinations will depend on where you are going and on the travel conditions. Even if it is not legally required, getting a Yellow Fever vaccination is indispensable if you plan to travel to an endemic region (tropical Africa, South America). If necessary, contact the vaccination clinic closest to you.
Before travelling, it is of primary importance that you are aware of the risks of malaria and how to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes. Your doctor will provide you with all the necessary information and will prescribe a preventive treatment adapted to your particular situation.
During your trip
Developing symptoms of phlebitis is likely particularly during prolonged trips on a bus or airplane. Do not remain stationary for too long and drink water regularly, at least one litre every four hours. If you cannot get up and walk around often, don’t hesitate to do some exercises in your seat to work the main muscle groups of your lower body, your calves and thighs. Follow these exercises by periods of long, slow breathing. Wearing support stockings can be very helpful during long trips and in fact necessary if you have varicose veins or recognized circulation problems. Don’t overdo it on alcohol or even wine, which accelerate dehydration and the onset of vascular troubles.
Once you have arrived, follow the habitual instructions: wash your hands frequently, avoid bathing or walking in stagnant water and protect yourself from the sun and mosquitoes.
If you have any problem while travelling, don’t wait until you get home to consult a doctor. The regulating doctor of your assistance company is available to discuss any questions or doubts you may have about your health. He/she can provide useful advice, contact your family doctor and organize a consultation wherever you are.
Before you depart for your next trip, make sure you get protected with an affordable and first class international travel insurance such as Allianz Travel. If you are not sure which one to choose, read our travel insurance buying guide here.