Are you among the lucky ones who spend winter down south? Certain precautions can help you to avoid health issues during your stay.
Travel without health-related stress
Do you know about the infamous Murphy's Law? In reality, it is a sort of pessimistic maxim, and not really a law, stipulating that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. On the other hand, there is also the familiar magical thinking, the school of thought that does not allow for the possibility for things to go wrong. Halfway in between, why not focus on the most reliable element: foresight?
Of course, no one can predict when unforeseen events and health-related issues will arise. Although we cannot anticipate when something will happen, we can however, provide prevention methods and solutions to potential problems. It can sometimes be difficult to deal with life's little surprises when we are far away from home, especially when they are health-related. This is why we are providing eight tips intended to give you peace of mind, dear snowbirds, so your stay down south is as pleasant as possible.
See your doctor a short time before you leave.
It is recommended to see your doctor several weeks before leaving for a long absence. Don't wait until the last minute: you may need to pass some medical tests or adjust your medication. By going ahead of time, you will be able to do what is necessary so you will be fit and healthy when you leave. Don't forget to have your prescriptions refilled.
See your pharmacist before you leave in order to update your medication.
Before you leave, see your pharmacist to update your pharmacologic record. Are there some medications that are no longer needed or that aren't effective enough? Are you experiencing side effects or having difficulty following through with your therapy? Your pharmacist can help you to find solutions or contact the prescribing doctor, if necessary.
Check the expiry date of your medications.
Seize the opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinet and check the expiry date of the medications in your home. Do this for prescribed, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and natural health products (NHP). Replace them if needed.
Have your medications refilled ahead of time and factor in the amounts.
Don't wait until the last minute to have your medications prepared. Some products could be unavailable or in insufficient amounts, requiring an order to be placed by the pharmacy. Make sure you have a sufficient amount for the duration of your stay, and even a little longer.
Ask for a printout of the list of your medications.
Remember to ask your pharmacist for a thorough updated list of your medications, including OTC medications and NHPs. Make sure that commercial and generic names are well-indicated, which could make things easier for medical personnel outside of Canada, if needed.
Purchase travel insurance.
It is important to shop around for your travel insurance. It must meet your needs and offer you thorough protection. Various factors can affect cost and coverage, such as your age, health, and medical history. It is essential that you have a good understanding of all of the terms and conditions to make a well-informed choice.
Everyone over the age of 60 should receive a flu shot each year, whether or not they travel. Plan to be vaccinated before you leave. Seize the opportunity to update your immunization record. Certain vaccines could be necessary or beneficial depending on your destination, among other things. Several Jean Coutu affiliated pharmacies offer immunization and travel health services.
Prepare a health travel kit.
Prepare a health travel kit, so you can leave with peace of mind. Because we never know what can happen, it's better to have thought of everything. First aid supplies and medications are not always accessible in other countries or may be different than the ones in Canada. Ask your pharmacist to help you adequately stock your travel kit.
Don't hesitate to speak to your pharmacist for additional advice and information about how to stay healthy during extended travel.