For many, summer is carefree vacation time that often includes travel. For persons with arthritis, however, travel can be challenging and uncomfortable.
For many, summer is carefree vacation time that often includes travel. For persons with arthritis, however, travel can be challenging and uncomfortable. To help you ease the strain of travel for your patients, Robert Danoff, DO, program director of the Family Practice Residency at Frankford Hospitals, Jefferson Health System, Philadelphia, offers the following pointers:
•Discuss patients' travel plans with them before they leave. This helps ensure that immunizations are current and that any medical arrangements on the destination end can be made in advance.
•Make sure patients have enough medications to last for the entire vacation, plus a few extra days in the event of travel-related delays. Encourage patients to keep medications in their purse or carry-on bag, and give them an extra written prescription in case medications get lost.
•Suggest that patients wear a MedicAlert bracelet, especially if they are taking corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive medications.
•Recommend that patients carry a pillbox. This can make it easier to keep track of medications when they are traveling to areas with different time zones. Patients can carry an extra watch set to home time or use a smart phone (some applications allow for simultaneous viewing of times in different parts of the world) to maintain the same dosing schedule.
•Suggest that patients ask for priority seating if traveling by air. Bulkhead, first-class, and business-class seating are roomier than economy class and might be worth the additional cost, especially for long flights.
For a wealth of information about traveling with disabilities to pass along to your patients, visit the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality Web site at http://www.sath.org.