Are you planning on travelling or with somebody post-stroke?

Travelling Post-Stroke

As we approach summer, conversations I am having have naturally included plans for holidays. When I broach the subject of holidays, I am met with questions such as “How can I?” rather than “Yes I am” answers.

The idea of returning to normality and summer holidays after a life changing incident such as a stroke can seem out of reach. Going on holidays is one activity that gets quickly ruled out for people as their recovery continues – but it need not be.

If you are fortunate enough to be travelling this summer for holidays – I have put together some tips to help you/your loved one prepare for a journey or holiday after a stroke.

1. Seek Advice.
·   Chronic conditions should not keep people from enjoying travel. People suffering from chronic diseases or conditions should see their healthcare provider as early as possible before travelling to start their planning.
·   Discuss any risks that may be involved, immunizations required, medicines or other medical devices that may be needed before or during the period of travel according to Hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention

2. Training for your trip
·   The American Stroke Foundation suggests taking a practice trip that is smaller or shorter can help you learn from experiences for a larger trip.
·   Consider the distance you will want / need to be able to walk around in comfort or how much time you will be out and about at events or activities.
·   Is it possible to take increasingly longer outings to practice being out.

3. Airport – make the travel experience easier, particularly if there are mobility issues.
·   Check with airports, do they operate the Sunflower Lanyard system?
·   Can you pre-check-in on line or cut through queues. When checking-in, request an aisle seat if not already pre-booked and request early boarding.
·   Can you book assistance such as a wheelchair or other aids if transferring between terminals.
·   Before entering security check-ins, place your wallet, keys, phone or anything else that may be in your pockets into a clear zip-lock plastic bag that can be quickly and easily placed on the security conveyor belt and retrieved at the other side.

4. Road trip – and planning ahead
·   If you are planning on travelling by car, take time to plan your route and timings for pit stops and breaks. This is particularly important if you need to use an accessible toilet.

5. Accessible Accommodation
·   Do you want a ground floor or are you happy to use a lift if required to access your room?
·   Are there accessible restaurants, sightseeing attractions and parking near-by?