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Holidaying with Alzheimer’s

In the UK today, there are some 850,000 people living with dementia and this is set to rise to a million by 2025. While Alzheimer’s disease falls under the generic term dementia, it is defined differently.

Dementia is a term for symptoms that include impaired thinking and memory. It is used to describe any brain disorder that affects a person’s ability to perform daily activities and communication. Typical causes of dementia are Parkinson’s disease, Huntingdon’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects the sections of the brain that control thought, language and memory.

Those with Alzheimer’s will experience impaired thought, speech and confusion. Diagnosis will involve blood tests, brain scans and mental evaluation.

A diagnosis does not mean that person should never travel abroad again. For some it may be the last time they will see relatives. However, of course, it will take a bit more planning and depends on how advanced their condition is. The added good news is it is not a bar to finding the right health insurance. Just contact us.

Meanwhile, here are some tips to help you make your journey easier for someone with Alzheimer’s:

  • If you are flying, try to pick flights that fit in with the best time of day for them.
  • Consider getting them to wear a Medic Alert bracelet, that way if the unthinkable happens and they wander off, emergency services will be able to find out their condition swiftly should they become too confused to speak.
  • Keep any medicines on your person.
  • If you are staying in a hotel ensure they know the condition of your travelling companion and ask staff to make a fridge available for medication that needs to remain chilled.
  • If you have electronic copies of your travel documents email them to yourself so you can access them on the move and put copies in your suitcase, too.
  • Smaller, less busy hotels may help your companion feel more at ease. Unfamiliar surroundings can cause Alzheimer’s sufferers to become confused and wander off.

Booking Alzheimer’s travel insurance

You must declare a diagnosed condition of Alzheimer’s before you travel. Direct-Travel Insurance may still be able to offer travel insurance if the pre-existing condition was disclosed at the time of booking so please ask us.

However, it will be harder to arrange holiday-travel insurance if you are awaiting a diagnosis. Once it is all booked, should the condition render it impossible to travel you can submit a claim for compensation.