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Health Care Tips for Parents Visiting USA

Health Care Tips for Elderly Family Members Visiting USA

After a long period of waiting and many hours of planning, your family is finally visiting you in the USA. You have planned their travel itinerary and purchased insurance for their stay here. However your family members are visiting you in an alien environment for them. The weather, the food available, the lifestyle is all new to them. Quite often your family members are elderly, and they take some time adjusting to these changes. The following are some suggestions which can keep their visit to the US healthy and safe.

All visitor health insurance policies will not cover preventative care or pre-existing medical ailments. You can overcome these limitations in visitor health insurance by having a health check up prior to leaving your home country. This will identify any lurking health issues for which you can take early remedial measures. In the event of an existing medical ailment, it is a good idea to get medications from your home country.

Children are excited to have their parents visit and would like to show their parents as much of the country as possible in a short period of time. You should consider the age factor of the visitors as well as the new environment that they are exposed to. Do not make exhausting travel plans all crammed during the 2-3 day weekend. Do ask the parents about their comfort level with your travel plans.

Common Ailments for Travelers to Take Precautions

The following are some common ailments that travelers can experience. We have provided some suggestions which can help you while traveling.

Allergies

People who suffer from allergies should take the same precautions on vacation as they do at home. Bring any medications used on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to bring an antihistamine in case of accidental exposure to a substance that triggers an allergic reaction.

Arthritis

The inflammation of the joints that occurs with arthritis may be especially troubling during long trips that restrict movement. Taking frequent breaks to walk around and relieve stiff joints and muscles can make car, plane and cruise trips more enjoyable. Remember to pack aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or any prescription medications you normally use for arthritis.

Blood Pressure

It is useful to buy self measuring medical devises. Electronic blood pressure measuring devices are easily available. Most of these are now accurate enough for routine clinical use and are relatively inexpensive. Precaution for both low BP or high BP is a must, any changes in the blood pressure should be trated as a red flag and a physician consulted.

Blood Sugar (Diabetes)

Even for patients who have a history of high blood sugar, it is good advice to purchase some home testing kits. These kits come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A pharmacist or the diabetes clinic nurse can advise you about the best model. You can usually obtain a blood glucose meter at little cost.

You can learn to measure blood sugar levels simply and quickly with a home blood glucose level testing kit. All kits have at least two things: a measuring device and a strip. To check your blood sugar level, put a small amount of blood on the strip. Now place the strip into the device. After about 30 seconds it will display the blood glucose level. The best way to take a blood sample is by pricking your finger with a sharp lancet that is designed to penetrate the skin only as far as needed to draw a drop of blood.

Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is an unpleasant problem for many travelers; however, there are some over-the-counter and prescription medications available. If you wish to combat motion sickness on your own, try the following:

When traveling by car, try to sit in the front seat and, if you can, avoid reading as it only heightens the feeling of motion sickness.

When traveling by boat, sit as close to the middle of the vessel as possible and look straight ahead at the horizon, a fixed point that will not move. Today’s high-tech cruise ships are built for comfort, with stabilizers for smooth sailing, and most passengers experience little or no motion sickness.

When flying, try to sit near the wing of the plane, or the side where you are accustomed to driving. Ear plugs also may help.

Heatstroke and Hypothermia

To avoid heatstroke, stay out of the sun for prolonged periods of time. By the same token, try to avoid unusually cold water to prevent hypothermia. Always try to be overcautious about extreme weather when you travel, and plan and prepare clothing appropriately to prevent or reduce the impact of extremes on the functioning of your body.

Dehydration

It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of a vacation and get dehydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, and don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Avoid caffeinated drinks, which can dehydrate you even more.

Diarrhea

There’s nothing more miserable than getting sick while on vacation. For most destinations, the major health risk to travelers is diarrhea, which may be easily avoided. In general, common sense prevails. When in doubt, steer clear of uncooked meat, raw fruits and vegetables and unpasteurized milk products, and drink only bottled water (although the tip of the bottle may be contaminated, so wipe it clean before drinking from it) or water that has been boiled for at least 20 minutes. If you begin to feel sick or develop a fever, rest and drink tea or purified water. Most cases of traveler’s diarrhea clear up within a few days.

Overactive Bladder and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

If you suffer from an overactive bladder or irritable bowel syndrome, you may require frequent bathroom visits during long trips. Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications are often helpful for the latter, and there are prescription medications available for people who may experience more severe symptoms. Avoiding stress, caffeine, and certain types of high-fat foods can help keep these conditions under control.

Animal and Insect Bites

If you are bitten by a wild animal, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Many animal bites require a tetanus shot and, in certain cases, a rabies shot. If bitten by a snake, lie as still as possible so not to spread the venom that may be present; then send others to get help immediately.

Check your body for ticks. Remove any with tweezers and watch the area for rash over the course of the next few weeks. See your doctor if you develop abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, rash, cough or weight loss.

First Aid Kit

It’s a good idea to keep a first-aid kit handy for any emergencies that may arise during your trip. It should include:

  • A first-aid manual
  • Throat lozenges
  • Bandages, gauze and tape
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Scissors
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Tweezers
  • Spare pair of glasses
  • Thermometer
  • Antacid
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Insect repellent
  • Antiseptic
  • Calamine lotion
  • Antihistamine
  • Cortisone cream
  • Aspirin
  • Sunscreen
  • Cold and flu tablets
  • Health and vaccination records

Conclusion

With all the given precautions, one should not forget to purchase or buy an visitors health insurance or travel medical insurance to protect them from medical care bills and health related emergencies in the United States. Bon Voyage! Have a safe and memorable trip!