Traveling is an opportunity to get away from the everyday routine, relax, enjoy new sights and perhaps reconnect with friends or family in a distant locale. Anyone taking a trip must plan for it, but if you’re a wheelchair user, a few additional considerations should be kept in mind.
Here are seven useful tips to keep you healthy while you’re away:
- Travel with at least a 10-day supply of your prescription medications. Make sure you store them properly, as many medications should not be exposed to direct sunlight. If you’re traveling to a foreign country, check with your doctor about any vaccinations you’ll need, as well as medication for traveler’s diarrhea.
- Be aware that certain medicines, like blood-pressure and bladder medicines and nitroglycerin, can make you feel light-headed if you sit in direct sunlight.
- Stay hydrated with at least 2 liters of water per day, depending on how hot it is and how much you sweat. In addition, drink liquids with electrolytes if your doctor recommends it.
- Limit or eliminate alcohol, which can easily dehydrate you. If you really want to enjoy a celebratory cocktail or glass of wine, check with your pharmacist or doctor about any possible interactions with your medications. Celebrate with a nonalcoholic drink if interaction is even a small possibility.
- Take vitamin C for skin health. This tip is especially helpful for anyone with a neurogenic bladder and can lower the risk of urinary tract infection.
- Wear freshly purchased sunscreen, as old sunscreen loses its effectiveness. Make sure it has an SPF of 30. Reapply every two hours or more frequently if you get wet. Check your skin frequently, especially if part of your body has no sensation. Go inside right away if you’re starting to turn pink. Use insect repellent to prevent tick bites.
- Wear a light-colored hat in a breathable material if you’re in a sunny climate. Layer your clothing if you’re going to a colder climate. For some, especially anyone with a spinal cord injury the transition to a cold climate may cause wheezing and shortness of breath, so body temperature regulation is very important.
Questions about travel in a wheelchair? Contact the professionals at Power Mobility & Lifts for advice and information. Visit our website to learn more, or just give us a call. We’re located in Phoenix and provide service throughout Arizona.
Wheelchair image via Shutterstock