Travel Therapy for people with Dementia
This October 2022 the Tourism Management is undergoing research to investigate the benefits of people with dementia travelling. There are a variety of ways that you can still go on holiday and create wonderful memories.
What is travel therapy?
Simply, it is visiting places outside of the everyday environment for longer than a day. It has been advised going on a trip for longer than a week can have real advantages for people living with dementia.
How travel can benefit the brain
Travelling can have a great impact on the brain and can stimulate brain function, the current research will look into:
- How it alters mood and feelings
- How it affects thoughts and memories
- Does it change behaviour?
- Does it impact senses?
- Will it improve well-being and quality of life
Although the research is currently limited, there is reason to believe that “travel therapy” can improve people with dementia’s overall well-being and quality of life as it will stimulate thoughts and knowledge, as well as providing an increase in social interaction and exercise. Visiting a familiar holiday destination can also allow people with dementia to access happy memories, especially if there are unique smells that will remind them of a special moment.
Tips for a good travel experience
We know that a holiday is the perfect time for a little relaxation, but sometimes it can be stressful so here are some tips to make it as calm as possible:
- Plan ahead and always have a back up plan, travel insurance could be very helpful!
- Try not to overload the person with too much information, let them know the plan but in small increments
- Be aware of their signs of agitation so that you can provide them with something calming (our fidget tools are great for this!)
- Travel during the times that are best for your loved one
- Try to travel to a familiar place if possible
- If you are staying in a hotel let the staff know so that they can also provide you with support, this is the same with flight attendants if you are flying
We bring joy to people living with Dementia
If you would like to find out more about travelling with dementia head to Alzheimer's Society to read their tips.