Many people feel that Parkinson’s disease limits their ability to travel. The truth is that people living with Parkinson’s disease can still travel, but a few extra planning steps are necessary in order to make traveling enjoyable. Here are a few tips to consider:
- If you’re flying, arrive at the airport earlier than usual to compensate for movement difficulties that may arise as you navigate the security checkpoints and allow for last-minute gate changes by the airlines.
- Double-check your medication to make sure that you have more than you’ll need for the trip. If you’re stranded a few days at your destination before you can return home, having extra medication is not only handy – it’s a necessity.
- If you can’t bring extra medication, check to see if your pharmacy is available in the town where you’ll be traveling. Make sure that you have enough refills in case you need to pick one up while you’re away.
- Keep emergency numbers stored in more than one place; having them in the suitcase only, for example, can be a problem if your luggage takes a sudden detour while en route to your destination. If possible, carry a small bag with extra medication and emergency phone numbers, including your physician’s.
- Plan extra time on your vacation for rest. In the excitement of the trip, it’s easy to overdo the amount of activity that is packed into one day. Schedule rest time to make sure that your body isn’t being overtaxed.
We caregivers can do much to help our loved ones keep the disease as manageable as possible. By helping with medication management, doctor’s and clinical trial appointments, keeping a consistent diet and exercise plan, and even managing vacation getaways, we can inject a feeling of hopefulness into an area of life that could quickly become too stressful. Reducing stress is also a key area to consider with Parkinson’s disease, since stress has been known to aggravate Parkinson’s symptoms.
There is no known cure for Parkinson’s, although researchers are working every day to find one. The effectiveness of any treatment program relies a great deal on the amount of planning and communication that takes place at home, as well in the doctor’s office.