By Joy Pape
The holidays are upon us, which means that many people are planning trips to visit family and friends in the upcoming months.
Did you know that 46% of Americans 55 years of age and older take at least one prescription drug? If you are planning a trip, what should you do? As always, there is not a simple answer. It depends on the medicine, where you are going, and how you are getting there.
When it comes to travel, save yourself some time, money, and energy. It is best to be proactive rather than reactive.
Here is what I suggest:
1. Make a list of all the medications you take, including the dosages and times you take them. Keep the list updated and with you at all times.
2. Fill your prescriptions.
3. Purchase and fill a med box, or, as some call it, a mediplanner. Take at least a few more days of medicine than you expect to use. One never knows if travel will be delayed.
4. Check off your list as you fill your med box.
5. Use rubber bands to secure the med box and place it in a bag. It is not unusual for the box to open during travel; this ensures that all medications are in one place.
6. Keep your medicine with you, not in in your checked luggage. If you are driving, don’t leave medications in the trunk or glove compartment. Changes in the weather can make these areas extremely hot or cold.
7. If you are traveling outside of the country, ask your healthcare provider for hard copies of your prescriptions. Keep these with you.
8. If you take injectable medications, make sure you have the label on your medicine or a hard copy of the prescription with you. If they require refrigeration, find out how long they can stay without refrigeration. Most can go a few hours while you are en route. If not, carry them in an insulated cooler pack. When you reach your destination, refrigerate your medications. If you are staying at a hotel, ask for a refrigerator for medical purposes. They should provide you with this at no extra cost.
9. Watch your feet. You may be more active during your trip, and you may have bought new shoes for your trip. Always bring a pair of tried and trusted shoes that won’t cause you problems. Look at your feet daily to make sure you don’t have red or sore areas from new shoes you may be wearing. If you do, go back to your tried and trusted shoes.
10. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, know your target numbers. Take your monitor(s) with you. Changes in activity, foods, and schedule can affect your numbers.
11. Decide before your trip how “off” you will go while you are away. If you are managing your weight, blood sugar, and/or blood pressure, are you willing to give up all the great work you have done, or are you going to try to stay on track? Think about it before you go.
12. Have a great time and enjoy!
Feel free to contact me at: (212) 933-1756 / firstname.lastname@example.org.