Healthy living

Travel advice for grey nomads

There’s nothing worse than having a long awaited holiday interrupted by a visit to the doctor. Like most things, prevention is the best defence. We advise older Western Australians to plan ahead before they go on holiday.

Planning for your holiday

It is easy to get complacent on holidays and forget to take your regular medications, which could have serious effects on your health.

Little things such as remembering to pack medications and filling scripts ahead of time can all help ensure travel plans go according to plan.

Campervan on outback road

Before leaving, you should meet with your GP to discuss any health issues that may impact on your travel plans. A GP will also be able to provide a current list of your medications, so you can take it with you on your travels.

Prescriptions written by doctors in other states can be dispensed by pharmacies in Western Australia. Some exceptions may apply such as for dexamphetamine and methylphenidate, (medication commonly used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD).

Taking a few simple steps before leaving home could help prevent any health-related interruptions to your holiday.

This will also ensure you don’t place increased pressure on remote, smaller health services.

Any increased pressure on rural emergency has the potential to affect patient care, so it’s important that emergency departments are left for emergencies only.

Top tips for older travellers

  • Remember to pack your medications and repeat scripts.
  • Ensure your medications are stored properly so they remain effective.
  • Ensure your scripts are filled ahead of time, to avoid running out of medication.
  • Keep your doctor, pharmacy, family and emergency numbers handy.
  • Put in place a medication reminder system to ensure medications are taken on time. This could include setting an alarm.
  • Bring a first aid kit for managing small cuts and abrasions.
  • Seek advice regarding travel insurance and ambulance cover before leaving.

Remember

  • If you forget your regular medicines it could have serious effects on your health.
  • A GP will also be able to provide you with a current list of your medications.

Where to get help

  • See your doctor
  • Visit a GP after hours
  • Ring healthdirect on 1800 022 222

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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