People in their 80s enjoy going on holiday just as much as anyone else. They may be slower getting around and have more health conditions than younger travellers, but that doesn’t stop their desire to see more of Australia and the rest of the world. According to a recent report from Allianz Life Insurance Group, most Australians travelling abroad listed holiday as the reason for travel on their exit papers. This includes people of all age groups, even those in their 80s.
People aged 80 to 89 also travel to visit family and to seek medical treatment away from home. This frequently involves surgery or getting a second opinion from another doctor. Obviously, those in their 80s no longer travel for business as they have long since retired.
Top Travel Destinations for Australians in Their 80s
When it comes to international travel, seniors in their 80s favour the same countries as younger travellers. The top 10 include:
- New Zealand
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
New South Wales is a favourite for older travellers remaining in the country.
Planning for a trip outside of Australia is challenging and time-consuming enough for younger people. It is often overwhelming enough for those in their 80s that they need planning assistance from a friend or relative. Part of the problem is the reluctance of some organisations to provide travel insurance for over 80’s. Travel insurance providers commonly assign a higher risk category to people over age 75 based on their age alone.
Common Health Problems of Octogenarians
Everyone struggles with some health issues as they age, but some are especially common for those who have reached their 80th birthday. Organisations that issue seniors travel insurance for the over 80s may look for evidence of the following pre-existing medical conditions on an application:
- Osteoporosis: This common health concern of the elderly causes bones to become thinner and weaker. People with this condition can break a bone from a simple fall, which understandably increases the risk of injury while on holiday.
- Vision loss: To appreciate this problem, consider that people in their 50s have just a two percent chance of developing macular degeneration while those over age 75 have a 30 percent chance. The macula allows people to see fine detail, so the lack of clarity could increase the risk of injury while travelling in-country or abroad.
- Hearing loss: Over 40 percent of Australians over age 65 have some degree of hearing loss. Not being able to hear well while on holiday means not being as alert to surroundings and potential danger.
- Cognitive decline: This condition affects approximately one in five Australians by their 65th birthday. Mild memory loss could result in problems such as missing a plane or forgetting to apply for a visa. It may not be safe for those with more advanced memory issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease, to travel at all.
- Heart disease: People over age 80 who already have a heart condition have a higher risk of suffering sudden cardiac arrest while travelling. The stress of travel and finding themselves in an unfamiliar environment can aggravate heart issues as well.
These are just five common health problems of older adults. Travel insurance underwriters may also look for diabetes, a history of flu or pneumonia, balance issues, and arthritis.
Planning for the Best Outcome
For people in their 80s who want to travel, honesty is the best policy when it comes to applying for travel insurance. Bringing along a younger companion could help to sway the minds of underwriters also. Getting travel insurance gives people of all ages valuable protection against the cost of cancelled trips or needing medical attention while away from home.