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Tips for flying seniors in the air PDF Print E-mail

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There are definite ways for seniors to protect their health while flying, but it isn’t easy these days. The crowds, delays, security ordeals and dozens of other inconveniences and anxieties are enough to sicken any healthy person.

However, there are ways you can fight back, and maybe even reach your destination in good health and comfort. It probably won’t be easy, but here are some tips:

1. Bring an adequate supply of regular prescription medications to take at your normal daily schedule throughout your trip. Also take along necessary over-the-counter medicines, such as allergy, aspirin and anti-diarrhea pills.

2. Carry a small first aid kit, including Band Aids and a tube of antibacterial ointment. Use them for small cuts or scrapes. Also, to fight impurities in recirculated cabin air, dab a bit of ointment on your nostrils and around your mouth and eyes.

3. There’s always some world hysteria about a new type of flu, so be sure to take your own supply of throw-away wet towelettes, preferably those soaked with medication. Wipe your hands and face frequently, as well as seat arms and all surfaces you contact in the airplane bathroom.

4. Get a good, comfortable night’s sleep if you need to go to the airport in the morning. If you’re flying red eye (after 11 pm), once seated aboard, settle down as comfy as possible. Cover yourself with a coat or blanket, loosen your clothing, take off your shoes and put out the overhead light. If you can’t make it dark enough, take along a sleep mask. Adequate rest, especially when your normal daily routine is interrupted by the stress of travel, is important for maintaining good health.

5. Eat sensibly and modestly before flying. Heavy meals, especially spiced and high-fat ones, tend to make flying uncomfortable when you’ll be confined to a narrow seat for hours at a time.

6.Go easy on beer and booze, but drink plenty of bottled water, tea and juices. The recirculated air in the airplane cabin tends to make your throat feel dry, so take frequent sips.

7. If your flight’s a long one, it’ll be both mentally and physically healthier if you bring electronic gear that can help calm you down, pass the time and blur some of the distractions. Consider a light-weight DVD/CD player with discs or an all-inclusive laptop computer.

8. Keep moving while in flight, especially on those long, overseas journeys. Every few minutes, stretch your arms and legs while seated. Also, get up at least once an hour and find a place beyond the passenger area near a bulkhead to do more intensive pushing and stretching exercises.

Do all of those suggested activities throughout your flight. Then clean up a bit before the flight lands, and when you head for your destination, you’ll be sure to look and feel fresh, relaxed and rested.


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