Belfast Telegraph

Would a holiday improve our health?

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

I have quite bad arthritis and my husband gets a lot of bronchitis and the doctor suggested we’d both benefit from being somewhere warmer.

I know quite a lot of retired people take off abroad for the winter, but it’s not something we’d ever thought of.

However, after discussing it we can't see any reason why we shouldn’t give it a try.

We don’t know the best way to go about it though — any suggestions? LD

FIONA SAYS: MAKE SURE YOU PLAN AHEAD

Your doctor's right — a warmer, drier climate would probably help you both, but there are a few things to consider before you go.

Age UK has a lot of helpful information in its leaflets, Planning A Holiday and Retiring Abroad.

Your doctor can only give you up to three months' worth of prescriptions so if you're planning to stay for longer, you will need to get medication.

If you are planning to be abroad for longer than six months you will have to leave the NHS, which may be a problem when you come back.

There are many other things to consider too, but I'd still encourage you to give it a try.

You could either rent privately or find a hotel — many do incredibly good deals for people staying for extended periods.

For private rentals, make a cheeky offer — most owners would rather make a little money than have a property sitting empty through the winter. Don't expect power and water to be included, though.

For hotels, consider those offered by Age UK, search online or use a travel agent.

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