Careful planning can make travel away from home easier. Try the following suggestions to minimize problems and enhance the quality of your time away.
• Never leave the house without a day’s supply of medication
• Keep a few extra tablets in a labeled container in the glove compartment of the car.
• Use a small shoulder bag or fanny pack and keep it stocked at all times with crackers or cookies and a mini-juice carton so you can take your medication. Take this bag with you even if you think you may be out for only a short time.
• Carry a card in your wallet listing the medications you are taking.
• If you are driving, plan frequent stops for exercise and rest.
When traveling by plane
• Take advantage of early boarding privileges.
• Check in early and request an aisle seat close to the washrooms if mobility is a problem.
• Even if you don’t normally require assistance to walk, you may want to consider using a wheelchair or an electric cart in the airport. It may be easier for your escort to push you rather than carry hand luggage and help you to walk at the same time.
• During flights where a time change is involved, take medications, as needed, keeping to the same number of hours between doses.
• If necessary, adjust medications to ensure mobility at the beginning and end of the flight.
• Take all your medication for your entire trip in your hand baggage. Checked baggage lost enroute or flight delays may leave you without enough medication.
• Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
• Use a small soft neck pillow to increase your comfort on a long trip.
• Try to rest both the day before you leave and the day after you arrive.
• Drink extra fluids the day before and after you travel. This will allow you to drink less on the travel day and reduce visits to the washroom.
• When travelling for extended periods of time ask your physician if he/she can recommend a neurologist in the place you are visiting, in case you need to see a doctor quickly.
• When travelling out of the country, make sure you have enough medical insurance coverage.
*An excerpt taken from A Manual for People Living with Parkinson’s Disease, Parkinson Society Canada, 2003. To request a copy (free of charge), contact email@example.com.
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