Tips for the Elderly Traveller in India
India is packed with more than a hundred heart-warming experiences and is the ideal destination for an adventurous senior couple. Although age and comfort are a concern, India has several world-class facilities to accommodate senior citizens comfortably – the only factor of concern being the location. Read our Tips for the Elderly Traveller in India.
Rural areas and smaller towns might not be as well equipped as bigger cities in terms of facilities, but they offer even more wonderful experiences. A little care, however, in planning can aid you to make the most of your holiday travel to India as a senior traveller.
- Get a pre-trip travel health check-up
- Consult your doctor for the practicality of the trip in regards to your health, discuss precautions to be taken with respect to existing health conditions and otherwise, vaccines that might be required, and medicines for common ailments
- Get your vaccines, if required, at least six weeks prior to the date of travel.
- With age, the ability to develop resistance to diseases through vaccines decreases and one might need more time for the immunity to develop. Hence, care should be taken to take the vaccines well in advance.
- Also, consult with your doctor the need for taking boosters of your childhood vaccines. With age, their effectiveness decreases and you might require boosters, especially if travelling to areas where measles, mumps or rubella are prevalent.
- Consult your doctor and get a Tetanus booster shot if advised
- Visit a health care provider and consult your embassy or travel agent to find out which, if any, particular vaccines are required or recommended for your travel destination.
- Senior citizens are prone to developing critical cases of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. India has high prevalence of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases. Consult your doctor to determine the requirement of anti-malaria medication.
- Care should be taken with anti-malaria medications, as they can react with any medications you are taking for pre-existing conditions.
- Use mosquito-repellent creams, lotions and patches for further protection
- Wear clothing that covers your legs and arms fully for additional protection
- If you develop a fever while travelling or after your trip (for up to three months or longer), seek medical attention immediately. Tell your health care provider that you have recently travelled to an area with malaria.
- If travelling to the Himalayas, ascend slowly and give your body time to acclimatize. Failure to do so can be harmful to your very life. Although, elders are less likely to develop high-altitude sickness in comparison to children, they do tire easily due to lower concentration of oxygen.
- Take extra caution to avoid dehydration and heat strokes; drink lots of water and stay out of the sun. Use wide-brimmed hats.
- Due to decreased sweat production and certain medications, older travellers are more prone to developing non-exercise-related heat stroke.
Be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat stroke (confusion, dizziness, headache, nausea). Seek medical attention if you think you are developing heat stroke.
Take some time to get used to the heat before engaging in any vigorous physical activity.
- India is not particularly known for perfectly smooth roads and streets. Even the young are advised against high heels. So, it goes without saying, that senior citizens have to be very careful when navigating India’s uneven streets, especially at night.
- As a matter of fact, it will do you good to completely avoid travelling late at night or through poorly lit paths, stairs and halls to the best of your ability.
- Travellers with limited mobility or impaired balance might consider using a walking aid to prevent falls.
- Older travellers with pre-existing conditions have a higher risk of developing complications from travellers’ diarrhoea. Prevent it.
- Use disinfectants, hand sanitizers and wash your hands with liquid soap and water where possible. Soap bars can carry infections due to their usage by multiple hands.
- Carry a portable hand-held water purifier
- Drink only bottled water and check the seal of the bottle for tampering before paying the vendor.
- Eat and drink only from eateries with hygienic conditions and where there is sufficient crowd to indicate its reputation.
- Consult your doctor for determining the additional precautions that you should take to prevent travellers’ diarrhoea. Check our Travel Tips – Health section for more tips on how to prevent travellers’ diarrhoea and measures to be taken if afflicted.
- Seek medical attention if the diarrhoea :
- is bloody;
- is accompanied by a high fever, jaundice (yellow skin), or persistent vomiting; or
- if dehydration does not improve despite the use of ORS.
- Travellers under medication for pre-existing conditions should bring more than enough medication to last your entire trip.
- When bringing medication and/or syringes into the country, carry a medical prescription or document from your doctor stating your need for them. This will appease the Customs officials of both India and your home country.
- If you wear glasses or contacts, bring an extra pair or the prescription.