Alzheimer’s Australia has welcomed Brisbane as Australia’s first dementia-friendly airport, with the launch of an airport guide for travellers with the disorder.
The guide, Ensuring a Smooth Journey: A Guide to Brisbane Airport for people living with Dementia and their Travel Companions, developed by the Queensland University of Technology-based Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration: Carers and Consumers, looks to improve the experience of air travel for people with dementia.
Alzheimer’s Australia chief executive officer Maree McCabe said the Australian-first was a major step forward in making Australia more dementia-friendly.
‘‘Australia’s first dementia-friendly airport is a fantastic achievement and Alzheimer’s Australia congratulates everyone who has worked to see it become a reality,’’ Ms McCabe said.
‘‘Consumers have shared with us their frustrations at way-finding in large busy places such as airports.
‘‘There are more than 413000 people living with dementia in Australia. We know that without a significant medical breakthrough that figure is expected to be more than 1.1million people by 2056.
‘‘People living with a diagnosis of dementia can still enjoy travel, and may require some extra assistance to do so.
‘‘This guide is fantastic in enabling people living with dementia and their carers to continue to do the things they enjoy, like travel, while assisting in navigating the airport, preparing and planning for travel.’’
Ms McCabe said no matter the size of the organisation, dementia-friendly principles could be achieved.
‘‘Dementia-friendly may include changes to design, layout, signage and way-finding or education of staff to be able to recognise and better assist a person living with dementia.
‘‘We expect this is just the beginning and look forward to working with many more organisations, large and small, to think about how they can become more dementia-friendly.’’
Alzheimer’s Australia is developing the Dementia-Friendly Communities Project, which aims to build understanding, awareness and acceptance of dementia in the community with financial assistance from the Federal Government.
For information and support on dementia, phone the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.