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Toward Dementia-Friendly Airports

August 6, 2019

Who hasn’t gotten twisted around in an airport looking for your gate or baggage claim? Now imagine you have dementia. Being in the hustle and bustle of an airport would be exponentially more difficult. Navigating security and dealing with the noise and crowds leads to anxiety and confusion. And, while there are many anecdotes about air travel experiences of people living with dementia, there is almost no hard data. That is why a research effort is currently being conducted with a goal of making airports more dementia-friendly. This effort follows efforts by airports to have a sensory-friendly space for travelers with autism, such as Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama. But, currently there are no dementia-friendly airports in the U.S. To change that, a Minneapolis-St. Paul-based Dementia-Friendly Airports Working Group is conducting the online survey now through Sept. 15, 2019. The “Traveling with Dementia – Airport Stories Survey,” is aimed at gathering information and stories about air travel experiences from persons with dementia and their care partners. It asks about travelers’ experiences, from booking flights to arriving at their destination, and encompasses travel within and outside the U.S. Respondents will remain anonymous. It is available now at through Sept. 15, 2019. Please share the survey with those you know who are caregivers of those with dementia and continue to travel.