By Warren Wolfe
A Minnesota group is exploring the idea of dementia-friendly airports. It has launched an online survey to gather information and stories about air travel experiences from people with dementia and their travel companions.
The survey will be available online through Sept. 15, 2019. It is open to anyone dealing with dementia and people traveling with them who have used airports in Minnesota or anywhere else in the world. The result may help airports figure out ways to better serve their customers. To take the survey, go to http://bit.ly/DementiaFriendlyAirports.
The motivation for the project is a recognition that airports often are difficult places for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Navigating security and dealing with the noise and crowds can lead to anxiety and confusion. There are a number of dementia-friendly airports in Europe and Australia with special staff training and services, but none in the United States.
The Dementia-Friendly Airports Project Working Group is made up of researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and area residents and professionals in aging and dementia services. It is organized and led by the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action team (www.cityofroseville.com/DementiaInfo).
Warren Wolfe retired from the Star Tribune, where he wrote about aging and health-care policy He is a Roseville Resident and member of the Dementia-Friendly Airports Project Working Group.
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