Six Travel Tips for Seniors With Diabetes

As any physician or person with insulin-dependent diabetes can tell you. It is a medical condition that is easy to live with so long as you control the diabetes and do not let the diabetes control you. It is when a diabetic’s normal routine is interrupted that rethinking control can be very important. Here are six travel tips that can help keep control and make travel the fun that it should be for older adults with diabetes..or travelers of any age for that matter.Paperwork for Travel. To avoid any issues with security in a heightened alert age, get a current prescription from your provider. Also, ask for a short document that describes all the pills, needles, test devices, vials and such that are part of your regimen.Stay in Motion. True, travel by air is by way of a plane in motion, but if you are a diabetic it is very important to stay in motion as well. Diabetes is a condition that affects the micro-vascular systems, and they also are more prone to clots. Get up – when the captain allows – at least every hour or two and walk about.Time Zone Adjustment. Everyone remembers to set their watch for the time zone they will be visiting, but a diabetic also should adjust any pill or injectable dosing schedule. You should consider incremental adjustments anticipating the new time zone a few days before you depart. Experts also suggest that you consult your provider if you are traveling more than four time zones in order to adjust your dosing schedule.Pack for More. If you are traveling domestically or in Europe, pack twice the medication that you would normally anticipate needing to be prepared for breakage or other damage to your supply. Even if you run out you will find pharmacies are readily available. If traveling to off the beaten path places where resources may be scarcer, pack three to four times what you might normally need.Carry your Meds. You certainly will check the big bag of clothes and other essentials, but you should have at least a couple days’ worth of supplies in your carry-on bag. Your checked bag may get lost, or you could get stranded in the airport by weather.If you Use the Pump. Even though we talk about “pressurized cabins” in aircraft, they are not pressurized to sea level. The change as the plane climbs to cruising altitude can be a real game of catch-up. If you rely on a pump for automatically administering your insulin, you may get too much dose on the ascent. Always check for bubble in the supply line, and consider not relying on the pump until you are back on the ground at your destination.The director of the University of Alabama Multidisciplinary Diabetes Clinic is an authority on diabetes management. Follow the link for more information.