Keep this in mind: Seniors can travel, even alone. When it comes to care, what should be taken into account is not age, but general health status. So much so that there is no lack of examples of people over 60 years old who “put down” others, much younger than them, when it comes to being willing.
Can you imagine sailing around the world at 77, climbing Everest at 73, or exploring the North Pole at 89?
Yes, although uncommon, it is possible in old age. The Japanese Minoru Saito spent 1,080 days sailing the sea, having passed through Australia, South Africa, Chile and Hawaii, before returning home. Also from Japan, climber Tamae Watanabe, in addition to becoming the oldest woman to climb Everest, climbed Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc and Aconcagua. And American Dorothy Hirsch, aboard a Russian icebreaker, braved the Arctic and entered the Record Book.
But, not being so vigorous, it is worth the elderly (or, if dependent, their family and caregivers) to consider, take care and get information from the doctor and the tour company so that the trip and the destination meet some requirements. important for well-being and safety.
Because, with aging, the body naturally changes. It is more sensitive to dehydration, sun exposure, subject to immunity, sensory and motor declines.
Accessibility is everything
Not being an adventurer and lover of danger, it is prudent for the elderly to choose means of transport and accommodation that meet their needs. These are points to be prioritized, even more so since it has some limitation, if there is check in priority, boarding with special escort, hotel with elevator, medical team, access ramps, in addition to handrails and grab bars in common areas, bedrooms and bathrooms. Generally, large hotel chains have it all.
Staying on the ground floor can be advantageous, so you don’t have to go up and down all the time and risk having an accident. Also search the internet for good reviews and recommendations, including service. Elderly people need less formality and more support, attention, receptivity and affection. When alone, it is advantageous in several aspects to participate in travel groups or to have monitors for specific recreational programs.
Having a hospital close by is necessary, if the place chosen by the elderly person does not have an outpatient clinic, rescuers. Or when you suffer from a health problem, such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, labyrinthitis, and even if you have any propensity, such as allergies, infections and nausea. Then there is the need to assess whether it is a good idea to travel far away, without knowing anything, or knowing that the destination is very far from services and people.
Can’t forget about the diet
Not really at any age, but mostly being elderly. Going too long without eating, due to being at the beach or pool, can result in malaise, dizziness and tachycardia. It also accelerates the loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia), which already occurs naturally at this stage, and there is a risk of hypoglycemia (dangerous for those with type 1 diabetes, liver and kidney failure), intestinal changes, even impairing the absorption of medicines. and vitamins.
It is also not possible for the elderly to spend the whole day drinking. First, because in old age sensitivity to alcohol (alcoholemia) increases. Then, because drinking aggravates diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, osteoporosis, memory deficits, predisposes to accidents such as falls, drowning, in addition to dehydration, lack of motor coordination and directly interferes with the action of medications and vice versa —they can enhance drunkenness.
Have more. We cannot neglect our diet, as in the last third of life we are also more susceptible to lactose intolerance and food poisoning. Therefore, it is necessary that the menu is varied, with food options for those who do not consume milk and dairy products, and of excellent quality. Diarrhea can lead, in a matter of hours, to serious consequences for the elderly, such as dehydration, kidney failure and the presence of blood in the stool.
Remember to respect schedules
Taking long trips by plane, car and bus also requires care. The risk is of having venous thrombosis, formation of clots in the blood vessels, which, when released into the circulation, can lead to pulmonary embolism and sudden death.
Advanced age, limited mobility, chronic diseases, all these are risk factors. Thus, in addition to consulting the doctor beforehand, elderly people should hydrate, walk and exercise on the way, every two hours.
When arriving at the destination, keep in mind that the schedule will obviously require adaptations. It is not always possible to enjoy everything and in the time that you would like. Too much sun is never good, but in older people it again leads to dehydration more quickly, as well as heat stroke, and increases the chance of getting skin cancer.
Under ultraviolet radiation, blemishes, lesions and bruises can darken and enlarge. It is preferable for seniors to enjoy the shade.
To expose yourself, the recommendation is that it is before 10 am and after 4 pm, always using sunscreen. Speaking of schedules, take into account that the elderly must respect their medication, as well as meals and breaks.
With reduced mobility, vision and balance it is to be expected that treks and excursions will not last all day. Nor the presence until late in shows, dances, especially standing up and in high heels and if the next day is the return trip.
Sources: André Mauríciogeneral practitioner and cardiologist from FMB-UFBA (Faculty of Medicine of Bahia, Federal University of Bahia) and professor at the IPEMED-Afya Faculty; Felipe Gargioni Barrettoneurosurgeon from PUC-PR (Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná) and spine specialist at the Personal Ortopedia clinic; Marcelo Cabral, master in health sciences and geriatrician at Hospital Esperança, in Recife; and Paulo Camizgeriatrician and professor at HC-FMUSP (Hospital das Clínicas, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo).