We have heard it a million times, I would like to travel but I can’t because of my health or my age. We want to help you overcome those issues and get out there and possess the world. Travelling well and in good health is important no matter your age and good preparation is the key especially if you are more mature or have a chronic but manageable health condition. Lets face it most of us over 40 have something that gives us a bit of trouble.
Between us we have bad hips, knees, shoulder, back spasms, arthritis and a heart condition or two but there is no way we are staying home.
We hope this will help you get ready for your next trip whether it’s up the road, around the country or across the globe.
We can also promise you that if something should happen and you do need care whilst on holiday the health care professionals at your destination will LOVE you for being prepared and may in fact be able to treat you more accurately and quickly because you gave them the RIGHT information.
Do not leave home without the following information.
As part of your travel plan be sure to include:
A trip to your regular primary health professional – GP or Primary Care Physician.
In this consultation you should discuss:
- Where you are planning to travel
- How long you are planning to travel for
- How you are going to get there e.g. drive, plane, cruise
- Any vaccinations that may be required (you may need to see a Specialist travel doctor for these)
- Any vaccinations that may need updating e.g. tetanus, whooping cough, influenza
- Your action plan * in case of illness or emergency while you are away (diabetes actions plan, Chest pain action plan, Asthma action plan, Pain action plan)
- Your medication supply and prescriptions
You should not leave this consultation without:
- A copy of your medical history including operations, hospitalisations, treatments, allergies and reactions
- A list of your medications with:
Generic and trade name of the medications
Dosage – how much to take
Frequency – when to take it
When you started it
When you should stop it
- Their contact details including:
Mobile phone number
Clinic operating hours
Preferred method of contact
A list of your medical Specialists and their contact details including:
Their Speciality (eg cardiologist)
Mobile phone number
Date of your last appointment (you may need to confirm this with your specialist)
- For some conditions it may be necessary to have:
A copy of your last ECG (heart conditions)
A copy of your last blood tests (diabetes, thyroid disease, those taking blood thinning medications)
Mental Health Care plan
- If you see an Allied health care professional such as a physiotherapist, podiatrist etc you should discuss your travel with them, they may be able to give you some advice about accessing assistance in other parts of the country or the world and update any treatment plan that you have. For example an update to orthotics for your shoes may be needed if you plan to do a lot more walking than usual.
- If you wear glasses or contact lenses see your eye health professional and get a copy of your latest eye examination results and prescription. There is nothing worse than being stranded on holiday and not being able to see, a copy of your results may assist with getting new glasses while you travel.
- Discuss your travel plans with your Pharmacist they may be able to give you a supply of medication, give you some medication travel tips and help you with information about medication management whilst you are travelling.
- If you see a mental health professional such as a Psychologist or Counsellor you should discuss your travel plans with them. Travelling can be stressful and confronting, preparing yourself for anxiety and stress whilst on the road is as important as ensuring you are physically fit to do so. They may be able to assist you with making a plan and advise you on ways to reduce your stress whilst travelling.
- Get Travel Insurance that is appropriate for your age, conditions, length of travel and countries you expect to travel in. Be sure to check the fine print, especially if you are relying on travel insurance associated with other insurance or your credit card.
- Discuss your travel plans with your family and friends. Leave a copy of your medical and health information with a trusted family member or friend. Someone that can be contacted if you have bad luck and end up unwell or lose the information while you are travelling.
It is starting to look and sound like a folder full of paper isn’t it?
If that makes you comfortable go for it but with modern smart phones and tablets there is no reason this information can’t all be recorded in PDF format, sent to you by email or scanned into a folder on your phone for easy storage.
We keep ours on our phones and on the hard drive of our laptops. There are also multiple apps for storing health information, you should check these out before you travel so that you feel comfortable with using them.
*An action plan is a set of instructions for you to follow if something should happen, these can be downloaded from the internet and most Primary Care Physicians will have one they prefer to use.
You can make one up yourself or download our suggestions:
An example can be found at:
If you would like more information or to discuss this information please contact us.
If you found this information useful or know someone who might please share on social media using the buttons below.