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Travel safety tips for seniors on the go

July 30, 2013

Traveling is a popular senior living activity, and why shouldn't it be? Retirement offers older adults the opportunity to take the trips they may have had to put off during their working years. Yet, while traveling certainly offers its share of benefits, it does not come without potential health hazards. This is particularly true for seniors who are managing a chronic condition or other health concern. However, traveling safely is not impossible, and all it requires is some smart planning.

Talk to a doctor
Medication management is a crucial component of healthy aging. There can be some challenges associated with adhering to a regimen during vacation, especially for those who are traveling by plane or crossing into different time zones. According to HealthDay News, elderly travelers should talk to their doctors beforehand, so they can determine an appropriate schedule. This also is a good opportunity to have physicians write down the conditions their patients have and how they're being treated. 

"Meeting with a physician a week or so before any air travel will allow the doctor to address any immediate concerns and provide the traveler with any necessary medications or other advice to help ensure a safe trip," Dr. Sharon A. Brangman, a member of the American Geriatrics Society, told the news source.

Check ahead
Doing some research well ahead of time can offer seniors a number of benefits. Specifically, they may be able to find some deals on tickets, lodging and other perks. Aside from that, seniors and their caregivers should look ahead to where they're staying to see if they can get a room that caters to their mobility needs. Doing so can ensure seniors have access to assistive services if needed, according to AgingCare.

Go in groups
Traveling alone may appeal to some people, but for seniors, taking group trips may be the safest option, experts say. Group globetrotting is particularly helpful because it increases the odds that someone will be there to respond quickly to a medical emergency. Additionally, traveling with other seniors can open up some discounts and will also add a social aspect to the trip, helping people develop friendships - a key component to healthy senior living.