For older adults on medications, it is important to plan before going on any type of trip, whether it is across the country, overseas, or simply to the mall. Anything can happen when you step out of your home, so good planning and proper medication management is essential to protecting yourself and avoiding any complications. If you are going to be traveling with your aging loved one this summer, here are some safe travel tips for seniors from our Wilmington NC assisted living community that will help ensure their healthcare needs are met.
Schedule an Appointment with the Doctor
Seeing your doctor before going on an extended trip is important, especially if the trip is overseas. Speak with your loved one’s doctor to find out if there are any travel precautions you should take. Now will also be a good time for your loved one to have their physical and get any necessary shots. If your loved one is on prescribed medications, ask their healthcare provider the following questions:
- Should the medication be taken according to the usual home time zone or the local time zone (if traveling to a different time zone)?
- Can any of the foods at your destination interact with the medications?
Update Vaccinations (If Traveling Overseas)
If your trip is taking you overseas, then you or your loved one should find out whether or not updated vaccinations will be required. If so, plan to get the vaccinations at least six weeks prior to leaving.
Guard Against Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVP)
Deep vein thrombosis (DVP) is a condition that causes blood clots to form in the legs when sitting for an extended period of time. Because seniors run the highest risk of suffering from such a dangerous condition, it is important to protect against it if your travels involve a very long flight or drive. Compression stockings are an effective way to help prevent this problem, but this should also be addressed with your doctor.
Manage Your Medications
If you will be flying, keep all of your medications, both prescription and over the counter, in their original bottles and store them in your carry-on bag so you are never without them. This will also make it easier to pass through customs. You should also have a list of all of your medications and supplements written down. The list should include the brand and generic names, the dosages, and the frequency of administration. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for assistance if necessary. You should also write down a list of your current medical problems and how they are being treated. Make two copies of these lists and keep one copy on you and keep one in your travel bag.
Additional Safety Tips
- Food-borne illnesses are becoming more and more commonplace, especially overseas where regulations aren’t as strict as they are domestically. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get sick from eating tainted food in the next county over. Always think twice about what you are eating and drinking and research local known illnesses from food and water at the CDC website so you know what to avoid.
- If you are traveling by train, bus, or airplane, then always wash your hands with warm soapy water or use hand sanitizer before eating any meals.
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration when traveling. This is especially important when traveling by air as the atmosphere inside airplanes is very dry.
Travel Safe and Enjoy from Our Wilmington NC Assisted Living Community
Whether you’re visiting a friend an hour away or taking a trip overseas, The Davis Community wants you to enjoy your travels this summer. For more information about our retirement community, nursing homes, or skilled nursing services, just give us a call today at (910) 686-7195.