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Safety First on Senior Junkets

separator Staying active, going new places, enjoying the camaraderie of your friends—it’s great. But if you’re going on an organized tour for seniors, make sure you take some precautions in terms of your health and safety. For example:

  • Older people are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Use common sense when it’s hot. Stay out of the mid-day sun. Drink plenty of water. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Limit alcohol. Try to spend at least a few hours per day in air conditioning. (For more information about heat-related illnesses and how to prevent them, be sure to read the July/August 2004 issue of our Senior Health E-Magazine.
  • Tell your doctor about the kind of trip you’re going on. Explain what your itinerary will be, if at all possible. There may be some things you should be aware of that your doctor can point out to you—especially if you have a chronic condition.
  • Call your health insurance plan to find out what you should do if you need medical care while you’re away.
  • Make sure the food and water you consume are safe. Seniors are more susceptible to bacterial illnesses from food. Meat should be well cooked, for example. If you have any doubts about any foods—say, for example, you get the feeling that a particular restaurant doesn’t seem very clean—listen to your instincts and avoid eating there.
  • Double check to make sure you’ve packed all the medicine you need. And if you’re going to be in the heat, find out whether temperature affects the drugs you take. It’s also helpful to think of a system that will help you remember to take your meds, because that’s one thing that’s easy to forget when you’re not on your regular routine.
  • If walking is difficult for you, be sure to find out in advance how much of it you’ll be doing on your trip. Many trips that are organized for seniors take that sort of thing into account, but you can never be too sure.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Institute on Aging.
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