Air Travel for Seniors – Know the Risks

by | Jan 17, 2019 | Health

As a senior that needs to travel by air, you have a lot of risks to take into account, and you should consider travel companions for seniors, which will help to mitigate your risks. What dangers do seniors face when they are flying? What do they have to deal with?

Jet Lag – The Most Common Issue

Jet lag is something that affects everyone who flies, but for the elderly, it can be particularly problematic. It affects the sleeping schedule, but it also causes extreme exhaustion in an elderly individual. You may also find that it complicates medication schedules which could have serious consequences later on. Finally, bear in mind that an elderly individual with a compromised immune system could suffer illness due to exhaustion.

The Potential for Injury

An airplane is a crowded place, and an elderly person stands a good chance of being hurt. They could be hit by luggage, or they could trip. Your chances of coming out on top are going to be far better if you have a traveling companion, especially if that companion happens to be a registered nurse. For the less stable traveler, an airplane can be very hazardous, so keep that in mind.

Compromised Immune Systems in a Crowded Place

It is no secret that the elderly often have compromised immune systems and airplanes can be a breeding ground for germs, especially in flight. An elderly individual could be at risk for pneumonia, the flu, or any number of other airborne illnesses. Apart from bacteria, however, they could be at serious risk for a blood clot which creates a life-threatening condition.

General Discomfort on Airplanes

This is not really a hazard, but it is a potential problem for travelers. Reduced air pressure and the lack of oxygen can agitate cardiovascular disease and pulmonary conditions. In addition to that, the prolonged sitting is a prime condition to cause joint stiffness.

To avoid these consequences, or at least lessen them, it is strongly recommended that the individual in question make sure that they are traveling with a companion that is able to render proper medical care. Flight nurses are a great example and one that you should look into long before you take off. Plan your trip carefully, and touch the ground safely each and every time.

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