7 Safety Steps To Take For Seniors When Traveling With Epilepsy
As a senior diagnosed with epilepsy, the idea of enjoying a vacation with your other half or your family might seem a daunting, worrisome one. However, with the right adjustments and precautions, you can keep yourself safe and reduce the chances of experiencing a seizure while traveling with epilepsy. In this guide, you’ll find a few key tips to make the most of your upcoming vacation – but don’t forget to consult your doctor before planning your time abroad!
Inform Your Neurologist of Your Travel Plans and Ask for Recommendations
If you are at risk of seizures, there are some essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of epileptic episodes while traveling or during your vacation abroad. And, the first one is to talk to your neurologist.
An epilepsy specialist will help you prepare by tracking your seizures, adjusting your medication plan, and identifying your triggers. Your neurologist might also recommend strategies to avoid unnecessary steps and provide you with a copy of your prescription to use while traveling.
Make Sure Any Travel Companions Understand the Basics About Epilepsy
Whether you are traveling with your partner, your family, or a group of friends, it is important to let your travel companions know about your condition, triggers, and warning signs.
Aside from answering essential questions such as “what is epilepsy?”, you should offer instructions about what to do in the event of a seizure, when to call the emergency services, and how to help you prevent recurring seizures.
Pro tip – if traveling by plane, inform the airline of your condition and tell the security staff about your vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) device, which might interfere with the functioning of the metal detector.
Pack Enough Antiepileptic Medications and Carry Them With You at All Times
Whether you are planning a weekend getaway or a month-long experience abroad, you should always ensure to be carrying enough prescription medicines to cover your entire trip.
What’s more, since travel plans can change unpredictably, consider carrying additional antiepileptic medications. They might come in handy if moisture or heat damage your primary inventory or if you misplace your other ones.
Pro tip – always carry medicines with you! On a plane, consider keeping them in your hand luggage or your purse!
Choose Your Destination Wisely
Your chosen destination will have a great impact on your likelihood of experiencing seizures while traveling. Ideally, you should opt for one of the best destinations for rest and relaxation, such as the Maldives or Tenerife.
What’s more, be sure to assess variables that might lead to unnecessary stress, such as traveling across multiple time zones or dealing with drastic temperature changes.
Invest in a Medical ID Bracelet
Medical ID bracelets and necklaces are universally recognized, and play a vital role in helping you access the first aid and care needed when experiencing a seizure.
In particular, according to recent surveys, over 95% of emergency medical professionals check for medical IDs during an emergency, and 75% do so during their initial assessment of a patient. If in doubt, investing in an epilepsy alert device can help you communicate all essential information to first responders.
Check Your Health Insurance and Research the Destination in Advance
Even when following all the safety best practices for seniors, emergencies might happen. In this case, knowing exactly what to do and how to find specialized medical care can help you live this experience without unnecessary stress or worries.
In particular, consider reviewing your health and travel insurance plans before living to ensure that you are covered in a certain destination. And, don’t forget that check where the nearest pharmacies, specialized clinics, and hospitals are in your destination.
Maintain a Balanced Lifestyle – And Get Enough Sleep!
Vacations are fun and exciting, but traveling might expose you to stress and drastic lifestyle changes, which can act as seizure triggers. In particular, heat, temperature changes, dehydration, and sleep deprivation can lead to uncontrolled seizures.
Make sure to maintain a balanced lifestyle while traveling, get enough sleep, and dedicate a significant part of your vacation to rest and relaxation!