Medical Issues and Planning for Senior Travelers

Apr 6th, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Merck has a long and rich history of working to improve people’s health and well-being.   At this site you will find several topics of interest to seniors concerning travel and health.  The first is called Travel Preparation and it is crucial, even for healthy people. Proper preparations are inexpensive relative to the costs of getting sick or injured while away from home.  Their suggested travel preparations focus on Travel Kits, Health and Travel Insurance , Vaccinations  and Traveling With Medical Conditions.  Each is fully explained.  I know from experience as a tour group leader with Elderhostel (now Exploritas) of the multitude of medications and health concerns that seniors face.  I was given a sheet with this information prior to departure for each individual.  Rarely did I see a sheet with only one or two prescriptions or health concerns.   

Medical Conditions 

Seniors traveling with a medical condition require special preparation.  Those with a medical condition should visit their doctor before departure to ensure that their condition is stable and to determine whether any changes in drugs are needed.  Detailed written medical information, including information about vaccinations, drugs, results of major diagnostic tests, and types and dates of treatments, may be the most valuable thing a person can have in a medical emergency. Seniors should consider asking their doctor to prepare such information in a letter.  Medical alert bracelets or necklaces for seniors are essential for those with conditions that can cause rapid, life-threatening symptoms, confusion, or unconsciousness (such as diabetes, seizures, and severe allergic reactions). Travelers should also carry proof of medical insurance.  Senior travelers with heart disorders should travel with a copy of a recent electrocardiogram (ECG).  Such information is also available now online if you enroll in a Personal Health Profile

At the Destination 

Problems after arrival are especially important to prevent and avoid in international settings. Though many people are most concerned about infection when considering a trip overseas, heart disease is the most common cause of death among international senior travelers. Merck highlights each of the following conditions and makes suggestions to enhance your trip:  Injuries, Traveler’s Diarrhea, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Lice and Scabies, Sexually and Transmitted Infections.  Now that you know, take heed.  jeb



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