Heathrow – the dementia friendly airport

By | Category: Travel news
Heathrow - to becme the first dementia friendly airport

Heathrow – to becme the first dementia friendly airport

By providing specialist sessions, training and online resources for all of its 76,000 employees, Heathrow claims it will become a dementia friendly airport.

In conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Society and a contractor, Omniserv, it plans that its staff will be able to offer assistance so that those affected – and their carers – “feel understood and included.”

The initiative includes creating training for all frontline staff and others based on Alzheimer’s Society courses; creating Senior Trained Additional Assistance Role teams comprising staff who have been trained to assist passengers with reduced mobility and who have received enhanced training for passengers with bespoke needs; identifying security as an area where people with dementia need increased support to help reduce anxiety; and providing quiet lounge areas in the terminals.

The airport has confirmed that training was already underway. Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said, “Sadly, we know that traveling can be a daunting or frightening experience for many people affected by dementia – this can put people off traveling and in turn lead to them feeling socially isolated. We hope their pioneering work will pave the way for all airports the world over to transform the air travel experience for people with dementia and their carers.”

It is estimated by some that there are 850,000 people suffering from dementia just in the UK according to the Alzheimer’s Society but this may not be the real figure as diagnosis – as I know from personal family experience – can take a long time to be concluded.  Would I take relatives suffering from dementia overseas or even on a domestic flight? I would be wary having experienced the problems just in organising car journeys and outings but then I wouldn’t claim to be representative of all carers or even that I was the main carer of someone.

Nonetheless, anything that heightens awareness of a growing problem in the community is to be welcomed.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,