Travelling with a Carer: What are your options?
Are the dreary winter weather and dark evenings making you dream of sunnier climes? The world is your oyster, says writer Ella Hendrix.
Travelling or going on holiday is one of the delights of life. But, just because you need extra help, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy getting away to see and experiencing new things.
It might seem difficult, but, with a bit of careful planning, anything’s possible. Although going away on your own could be an option, if you make use of a carer in your everyday life, there is also the possibility of travelling with them. There are some CQC regulated care companies that make travelling with your live-in carer possible. With this in mind, you might be able to go to places that you otherwise wouldn’t, as your carer understands your needs and limits.
Trains, planes and automobiles…
As long as you’re planning on travelling by (fairly) conventional means, you shouldn’t have a problem in most parts of the world. International flights, flights within Europe, long-distance planes, and ships should all be well equipped for everyone, including people who have limited mobility, but it is important that if you do have mobility issues you make a travel agent, airline or booking company aware of it.
You might have more difficulty if you are going to a third world country, as they often will not have the same infrastructure as we do here. However, there are usually ways around this, so speak to a booking agent to see that they can do. Make sure that you tell them that you’re travelling with a carer as this might make things easier.
One big worry for many people, when they go away, is what to do about their medication. If you are travelling with a carer you can ask them to look after your medication but there are still some things that need to be thought about in advance.
Make sure that you carry a doctor’s note and a copy of your prescription so that you can show that you are meant to have it on you, and so that you can get hold of replacements should the worse happen
Make a note of your medicine’s generic name as well as the brand. Many countries use different brands to us here in the UK
Take your medication in its packaging to leave no doubt about what it is.
Remember if it is a liquid to carry it in a clear plastic bag if you are flying
If your medication requires refrigeration you should take it in a cool bag with ice packs that last until you get to where you are staying. If you don’t have your own fridge where you are staying, speak to the management of the place to ask if you can use theirs
Carry medication in your hand luggage
Holidays in the UK
Holliday villages, trendy hostels, hotel spas and well-established hotels are good options. They are usually well equipped for people with health issues and have staff who know exactly what to do to make your stay an enjoyable one. These places are usually fully fitted with wheelchair access, have rooms which are suitable for less mobile people or those who need extra help, and are dedicated to ensuring that everybody has a good time.
It is always a good idea to get travel insurance, especially if you are going abroad. This is especially important if you have a pre-existing medical condition or specialist equipment that you want to take with you.
If you’re older, specialist insurance for the over 50s can be useful as it is more tailored. You should also remember that, whilst the UK is still in the EU, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can be used alongside (but not replace) your travel insurance. This means that you can get access to state-provided healthcare if you are in an EU country.
There are many benefits to gain from going away, and with a carer, you can find the whole experience enjoyable and not too stressful – just as it should be.