Before you venture out on vacation this summer, there are a few crucial items you may not even have on your to-do list. Huff/Post50 recently spoke with Dr. Ronald Adelman of Cornell University's Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care, who offered medical tips for post 50s getting ready to hit the road.
First, arrange to speak with your doctor before going away about medications, immunizations and activities that involve a great deal of exertion, said Dr. Adelman. Medical conditions won’t necessarily dash your vacation plans as long as you prepare accordingly. “You’re free to travel with all sorts of chronic medical conditions, you just need to adjust," said Dr. Adelman, who stressed that summer travel is all about prevention and hydration. "Vacation in the summer is wonderfully healthy. It's important to prepare for it."
Interested in some helpful travel tips for your summer vacation? Check out the slideshow below for Dr. Adelman's travel safety tips:
Review Your Medications
"When traveling it's important to know what medications you're on and to make sure that they don't cause a change in your behavior," said Dr. Adelman. Some medications may increase blood clotting, which could be troublesome on a long flight or on a vacation where you aren't moving as much, according to Dr. Adelman. "Arrange to get a bulkhead or aisle seat so you can get up, walk, and stretch. Also, avoid crossing your legs -- it increases the likelihood of clots."
See A Travel Medical Specialist
"A travel medical specialist can really understand where you're going and what you'll need if you change your itinerary," said Dr. Adelman. Proper immunization is important before going away, according to Dr. Adelman. "You need to be strict about where you're going," said Dr. Adelman. "If you take a side trip you have to be sure you're properly immunized. You need to make sure you adequately brainstorm where the possible trip might lead you with a travel doctor." Travel medical specialists, as well as information on vaccinations, can be found at the <a href="http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/travel-clinics.htm" target="_hplink">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a>, which also lists resources for health departments by state. Travelers can access lists of travel medical specialists by country, city, or clinic name through the <a href="http://www.istm.org/WebForms/SearchClinics/Default.aspx?SearchType=Advanced" target="_hplink">International Society of Travel Medicine</a>, or by country or state/province through <a href="http://www.astmh.org/source/ClinicalDirectory/" target="_hplink">The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene</a>.
Get A Dental Checkup
Finding a dentist while on vacation could prove to be a difficult process, according to Dr. Adelman, who suggests making a trip to the dentist before leaving a priority. "Make sure you go to your dentist and get a dental checkup," said Dr. Adelman. "You really don't want to need emergency dental care while you're away."
Bring Updated Medical Data
Dr. Adelman suggests vacationers take with them a list of all of their medications and medical conditions. "Bring a copy of your EKG if you have a heart condition," Dr. Adelman said, adding that if you suffer a chest ailment, the data will be helpful for doctors to make comparisons. "Ask for essential copies of tests. If you were hospitalized, obtain a report of what that involved. It's nice to have the most updated information."
It's important to drink a lot of water, especially if you're on a diuretic and taking a flight, according to Dr. Adelman. "In flights you get dehydrated easily," said Dr. Adelman, who adds that vacationers should generally avoid alcohol on flights, as well. He also advises to know where you can drink untreated water while away. "Be aware as we age we don't feel thirst in the same ways," said Dr. Adelman. "If you're walking in a brutally hot area, make sure you replete with water constantly. Even if you're not feeling thirst, you should constantly be drinking."
Know Your Limits
It's important to know your own physical limitations, according to Dr. Adelman, adding that vacationers should plan trips where they can have a place to stop, rest, and cool off if needed. "Don't be pushed by group pressure," said Dr. Adelman. "People have to be smart. This doesn't mean you can't go on vacation, just be wise about your capacity. Make your needs known and be very explicit."