Senior Health Travel Tips
Here are senior health travel tips that will improve your travel experiences. As you enjoy the summer days and the opportunities for vacation, never forget where your support comes from – the back! The back faithfully supports the entire body in someway, up to the top of the head and down to the toes. It is therefore a wise investment to give your back the support it needs and, when it has a few complaints, to listen well and provide its needs.
Then your back will, we hope, continue to serve you in faithfulness and with strength!
Travel Tips for Road Trips
Getting Comfortable in the Car Seat
If you are the driver, adjust your seat to be closer to the driving steering wheel. That way you only need to stretch out your arms comfortably to reach the steering wheel.
For both driver and passenger the following comfort tips will help:
- Keep back pockets empty to avoid spinal irritation.
- Try to sit straight up, with your knees a little bit higher than your hips.
- Chin in – keep your head on top of the spine, not jutting forwards, not twisted or tilted to the side.
- One of the best senior health travel tips is to use a car pillow or rolled up sweater or blanket to fill the gap between the curve of the spine and the shape of the car seat. The aim is to keep your back snug to the car seat.
Things that Go Bump on the Road
We are not referring to unsafe driving, but speed bumps and potholes that make the car ride jerky and bumpy.
These kind of bumps can jar your whole body and leave the spine aching.
The solution may be found in using a special pillow such as a ‘coccyx pillow‘ or other car cushions that support the spine.
Stopping for Breaks
- Experts recommend breaks every half hour for people who sit in cars. The idea is to avoid staying in one position for a long time.
- In addition to the get-out-of-the-car breaks, or if you are a passenger, do some stretches every 15-20 minutes. Move, wriggle and stretch ankles, hamstring muscles and upper arms.
- Keep drinking water! It helps for concentration, it helps to keep you feeling good. You will be making toilet stops in any case, so you may as well drink. People who know that they are planning to stop for breaks won’t be afraid to drink.
Cool It – Heat it!
Many people with aching backs or arm muscles like to alternate with cool and heat packs. People with arthritis especially, appreciate ways to relieve joint pain for senior health travel.
- Ice packs, frozen gel packs and instant-ice packs available from a pharmacy are good to take with, or keep in the car. You can cool down inflamed, achy backs and joints.
- Keep rechargeable heating pads in the car. This is another great function of a car, since with a power converter, you can charge and recharge heating pads as needed.
Think Pain Free and Be Free
Yes, to a certain extent ‘it is all in the mind’. If you feel pain but you have to continue the journey anyway, use some tricks to get past the pain.
- If you are driving, your mind has to be 100% on the road, focused. You can still have appropriate music or an audio book playing, so long as it doesn’t distract you!
- Try singing favorite songs.
- If you are the passenger you can try the following: breathing exercises, doing crosswords or Sudoku puzzles.
- Not everyone likes reading while in a car, as it can may you feel nauseous, but other visual distractions would be to watch a favorite movie or an engaging lecture. That will also give you something to talk about.
Just be sure that whatever you are distracting yourself with will not disturb the driver.
Hired Cars and Getting Your Car Fitted Out for Comfort
Get your car or a hired car fitted out with safe gadget and devices to make your journey easier and more comfortable.
- Some car hire companies offer mobility aids, such as car swivel seats. Car swivel seats to make it easier to get in and out of the car without twisting your spine. These can be attached to any car and are easy to get hold of through online purchases. Make sure to pick a brand that is known to be safe and reliable.
- Use car stickers to let people know if your passengers have special mobility needs.
- Keep in stock extra pillows, blankets, water, a first aid kit that includes soothing creams for stiff joints and pain relievers.
- Get non-spill easy-grip easy-sip water bottles and keep refilling.
Snack Attacks while Traveling by Car
- Keep a stash of healthy nutritious snacks in the car. This is important for seniors who may have skimped on a full meal before the journey, and for people who have diabetes to help manage their blood sugar levels. Choose snacks wisely, avoiding greasy foods that might lead to upset stomachs. Also avoid foods that will spill or dirty the car or the clothing of the passengers.
- If the driver or passengers need a break for a snack, take the time needed for that. You will arrive feeling energized and ready for the activity that awaits.
Self educate as to other ideas to accommodate comfortable travel such as accessible trips for seniors with limited mobility.
- There are some cities with a greater awareness of the needs of the seniors with limited mobility. Check out the information here.
- If you can check out TripAdvisor for more exotic destinations that are mobility friendly, such as those offered by a cruise.
We hope you have a good trip that makes for many happy memories!
Planning prevents problems cropping up later on.
With these senior health travel tips, you are sure to have heaps of pain-reduced fun.