Travel tips for people with dementia

Travel tips for people with dementia

Planning is vital when going on holiday
  • Deborah Condon

After what seems like an endless winter, many people are probably already looking forward to their summer holidays. However, for those with dementia and their families, there is a lot to consider when booking a break away.

In response to this, the ‘Dementia: Understand Together’ campaign, which is run by the HSE and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, has published a travel factsheet aimed at those with dementia and their families.

Around 55,000 people are currently living with dementia in Ireland, with 11 people newly diagnosed every day. The number of people with the condition is expected to more than double by 2040.

According to consultant psychiatrist and chairperson of the campaign, Prof Brian Lawlor, while a diagnosis of dementia does change lives, people can still live well with the condition.

“While the situation of every person with dementia is different, for those who are in a position to take a break, it can offer huge benefits for both the person with dementia and their loved ones.

“These benefits include keeping the brain active by exploring new places and activities, maintaining social stimulation and making new friends, and enjoying physical activities such as walking, cycling or swimming,” he explained.

However, he emphasised that planning is vital when it comes to breaks away.

The factsheet offers a number of tips for people with dementia and their families, including:

-Choose the right destination – some people may not like going somewhere they are unfamiliar with, but if the person with dementia does not mind new places, going to a different place may challenge their brain in a positive way
-Get help – ask about assistance services at the airport and on the airline you are flying with
-Give yourself time – Give yourself plenty of time to deal with unforeseen delays, such as traffic or queues
-Call ahead and research local supports – if staying in a hotel, let them know about any special requirements you may need. Consider contacting local dementia services for resources and support.

The full factsheet can be viewed here

For more information on the Dementia: Understand Together campaign, click here


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