Airports can be a complex, busy and confusing place for an individual who may have a non-visible health condition. For passengers who have dementia, the prospect of traveling by air can be concerning and challenging but it's certainly not impossible.
A well planned holiday can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of a person living with dementia and those around them. Following a few of our tips could make travelling easier for everyone.
- Contact different airlines to see if they can offer any specialist support.
- If possible, try to travel with two companions.
- Minimize hand luggage.
At the Airport
- Notify airport staff that you are traveling with a person with dementia. Priority boarding is often offered for people with disabilities, including people living with dementia.
- Some airports offer “family and assistance lane” or “premium security lane”.
- Make use of quiet spaces within the airport if the person gets anxious in the busy environment.
During the Flight
- Having a seat near the aisle helps if the person needs or wants to get up.
- Bring along a device with their favourite music.
- Favourite snacks or comfort objects can divert their attention if they get agitated.
Communication from both travellers and staff is very important. Discuss your needs ahead of time and ask for help when needed. UK airports are taking steps towards being dementia aware and are now offering support and special assistance, including staff members with specialist training.
With the help available at the airport and a well-planned journey, both the carer and the person with dementia can enjoy a stress-free travelling experience.
At Story & Sons we have a range of dementia products that may help when planning your journey.
If you would like to find out more when planning a journey, Alzheimer’s Society has more advice and information.