Daisy McCarty

Mobility Travel Tips For Arthritis Sufferers

One of the really frustrating things about arthritis is that it gives you good days and bad days. Sometimes, just getting out of bed is a long, groan inducing process. Other times, you feel OK – and may not realize you are “overdoing it” at favorite activities until the next morning. It’s particularly challenging to plan for a trip when you tend to experience widely varying levels of mobility. Travel plans may need to change on the fly if your pain flares up. Here are a few tips for feeling good, managing pain, and increasing your ability to get around when you travel.

Do a Personal Evaluation

When you’ve lived in the same place for years, you tend to have lots of strategies in place to help you cope with arthritis. This means there are probably accommodations you’ve discovered or created that you don’t even notice any more. Before you plan a long trip, consider taking a weekend vacation at an unfamiliar location that’s not too far away. See how you fare when there aren’t any of your usual support systems in place. This will give you a good idea of what daily tasks are still problematic for you. This may include walking for long distances, climbing stairs or hills, getting in and out of a vehicle, or turning knobs.

Enhance Your Ability to Get Around

If you have been putting off using a mobility travel tool like a cane, a rolling walker with a seat, or a scooter, now is a good time to give these a try. Increasing your mobility with assistive devices can mean the difference between sitting in your hotel room and watching TV and going on a fun filled tour. On a personal note, my grandfather found that he could get out of the house again once he gave in and started using a cane. My younger brother carved and stained a beautiful wooden walking stick with a handle for him years ago; and one day he just decided to give it a try. It’s made a huge difference. The fact that it’s a great looking walking stick that was hand crafted with love makes it even better. Accessorizing a mobility device to make it special to you might help ease the transition to using one.

Start Using New Tools

Once you start shopping for stuff that will make your arthritis easier to manage when you travel, it will be hard to stop! If your hands tend to bother you, pack an extra pair of fingerless arthritis gloves. Moisture wicking textiles make these comfortable to wear even when you are traveling somewhere warm. If your back, hips, and butt tend to suffer from the jarring impact of air, train, bus, or car travel, consider investing in a portable seat cushion. When you bring your own, you can instantly install it in any vehicle. Finally, don’t forget to pick up a copy of Rx: The Freedom to Travel Language Series audio book to help you communicate about your mobility issues easily and effectively.