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Older travellers

Older travellers
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Health tips for senior travellers

Are you visiting friends or exploring an exciting new destination? Planning ahead to protect your health will help you relax on your trip.

Long-term conditions

If you are managing a medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease, you should see your healthcare provider to discuss the impact of heat, altitude or humidity at your destination. They may also give you some extra information for your travel health adviser.

You may also wish to ask for a letter about your condition in case you need to get medical care while abroad. Copies of your prescription are useful, too, and you may need extra supplies of your medication to cover an extended trip.


That extra supply of medication is important because you cannot rely on being able to obtain your meds at your destination. Depending on where you are, it may be difficult to obtain the exact preparations that you use at home. In some places, for example, on islands, you will have to wait a few days for a delivery of your medication to come in by boat. This is why it is best to carry your own supply.

Bear in mind that some countries have different rules about medications and drugs. For example, in Egypt certain common painkillers are illegal. Check the Government of Canada’s advisories for the country you are visiting to find out more. Keep all your medication in its original packaging and take a copy of your prescription and a doctor’s letter, too.

Travel insurance

Check that your travel insurance provides all the cover you need. Your provincial health insurance will not cover your treatment abroad. And bear in mind that if you fall ill, you may not be able to use your booked tickets, so repatriation should be covered too. It may seem a bit morbid, but you might also want to think about what you would like to happen should you die abroad.


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a life-threatening blood clot in the leg and has been linked to long-haul flights. Your risk of DVT increases with age, so you should be aware of the symptoms, which include:

  • calf pain, often a heavy ache that gets worse if you bend your foot up toward your knee
  • warm skin near the clot
  • red skin at the back of the leg below the knee

If you suspect you have a DVT, get medical advice. Do not wait until you get home.

Get your shots

Travel shots are particularly important if you have an underlying health condition. Some shots, such as yellow fever, offer life-long protection, but you might need a booster for others. We can help you out with travel vaccinations in Red Deer, Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat and Okotoks.

Your travel health adviser will also tell you about avoiding food- and water-borne illnesses. They can advise on sun safety and also avoiding insect bites. Your adviser can help you find a regime of anti-malarials that works for you, too.