Travelling by air

I have always enjoyed my holidays, although over the last few years, holidays have been stressful, due I suppose to the fact that I am out of my comfort zone, in an area which is perhaps fast or unknown.  I do struggle with aircraft these days, I suppose again because it's a territory which is not normal to me these days.

- Ken, diagnosed with young onset dementia with Lewy bodies

Photo of an aeroplane

Travelling further afield can take a little more planning if you have dementia, but there is nothing to stop you from flying off on holiday, attending that family wedding abroad or taking the trip of a lifetime.  The government's website gives more information on things to consider if travelling by air.

It is sensible to take our holiday insurance if you plan travel abroad with someone who has dementia.

All Clear, StaysureFree Spirit, Policy Clever and Towergate Insurance offer specialist travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions, including dementia.   

Special assistance at airports 

Major aiports offer special assistance services to people who may need extra help when travelling.  Most offer special lanyards, wristbands, cards or baseball caps to people with 'hidden disabilities' to discretely indicate to staff that a person may need additional help. 

You should contact the airport you are flying via directly for more information about their special assistance and hidden disability services.  We list links to special assistance web pages of the top 10 UK airports below but you should find all airports offer similar services.

Heathrow - click here
Gatwick - click here 
Manchester - click here 
Stansted - click here 
Luton - click here
Edinburgh - click here
Birmingham - click here
Glasgow - click here
Bristol - click here
Newcastle - click here 

Keith, who was diagnosed with young onset dementia at 55, has developed these tips for stress-free air travel after several successful visits to Australia.

          Stress-free air travel - Keith's top tips

  • Discuss your booking with your doctor.  It is advisable to get a letter from your GP if you will be carrying medication.
  • Think carefully about the place you intend to visit and what you want to do.  Is it busy or quiet?  Do you know the area?  Have you planned rest days as well as active ones?
  • Be honest with your insurance company about your condition.  You need to be confident you are covered.
  • Ask your tour operator or airline for help if you need it.  Give them at least 48 hours notice.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time.  You might have long distances to cover in the airport that could be very tiring.
  • Most airports offer a Meet and Assist service.  The Heathrow airport website is a good example of the help such a service can offer.

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