Image of three senior ladies. One is holding a phone adn they are all smiling for a selfie photo

Visit England and Visit Scotland together this October launched a Business Support Guide titled “Dementia-Friendly Tourism.” In partnership with Alzheimers Society and England’s Inclusive Tourism Action Group. 

The guide is a resource for Tourism Operators and has information about Dementia, catering to the market, practical suggestions, simple improvements, case studies, and links to resources for further reading. 

Dementia, like hearing impairment, MS, autism or anxiety, for example, can be classed as an “invisible disability’ and not always evident to observers. Australia is making inroads into catering for accessibility and in June 2017 Brisbane Airport was named Australia’s first dementia-friendly airport by Alzheimers Australia. They launched a downloadable guide Ensuring a Smooth Journey for the Airports International Terminal. This guide was aimed at Persons with Dementia, their friends, carer’s and travel companions, with the aim to make travel as simple and enjoyable as possible. It covers planning the journey, considerations, arranging essentials, getting to the airport, the check-in process and departure, arrivals and transfers and other resources available. 

 
Following overseas developmentsBrisbane Airport  kickstarted a Hidden Disabilities Program and created an Accessibility Journey Planner, where virtual exploration of the airport and sections is available. Other Australian Airports have been gradually following suit, with Melbourne Airport  incorporating sensory maps, social stories and a lanyard program whilst Sydney Airport  lists information on assistance and ambassadors. Hobart Airport provides videos of the airport experience and accessible facilities map. Adelaide Airport has a written account with contact numbers for assistance, whilst Perth Airport has limited information here

In 2018 Dementia Australia produced a booklet for people with dementia and their carers “Travelling and holidays with Dementia”. The guide also lists Helplines and useful information and contacts from the planning stages to the return home.

Article 30 Part 5 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) states:

"c) To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to sporting, recreational and tourism venues;

d) To ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other children to participation in play, recreation and leisure and sporting activities, including those activities in the school system;

e) To ensure that persons with disabilities have access to services from those involved in the organization of recreational, tourism, leisure and sporting activities."

So, it follows that it is an imperative of the Tourism Industry to collaborate with stakeholders, continue to focus on, and improve practice and service, access and inclusion for all, including travellers with Dementia.

Information Sourced from

Alzheimers Society (UK)
Adelaide Airport
Brisbane Airport Australia
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Dementia Friendly Tourism Business Support Guide
Dementia Australia
England’s Inclusive Tourism Action Group (EITAG)
Hobart Airport
Melbourne Airport
Sydney Airport
Perth Airport
Visit England
Visit Scotland

Further reading

Top 10 Accessible Travel Tips
Holidays and the NDIS
Hidden Disability Lanyards at Brisbane Airport
Incontinence Tips for Travel
Top 5 Accessible Holidays Planning Tips
Lonely Planet: Accessible Travel Resources
Helping you plan your holiday

 IDEAS is an organisation that serves people with disabilities to help them live full, independent lives, with information and education. For more information and travel planning advice, call 1800 029 904 or visit www.ideas.org.au