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Dementia Travel Insurance

Dementia is most common among older individuals as the likelihood of developing dementia increases with age. In the UK, there are currently 850,000 people with dementia. Diagnosis of dementia can be problematic as each person will experience symptoms in their own way. It is a progressive condition which means the symptoms will get gradually worse, but the rate at which this occurs will vary between individuals.

Dementia is an overall term for when the brain has become damaged by disease. There are several causes but the most common include Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, dementia with lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia. Each will have different effects on the individual, resulting in distinct symptoms depending on which area of the brain has been damaged. Patients with dementia will notice changes in day to day memory, planning and organising, visuospatial skills and orientation.

Dementia affects individual’s cognitive abilities relating to thinking and memory. This makes day to day tasks a little bit more difficult to complete. When thinking about booking a holiday, these symptoms need to be considered and careful planning can ensure you can still enjoy a relaxing holiday.

When thinking about taking a holiday, it is important to research and plan as far in advance as practicable. Decide which type of holiday you would like to take. Are you going to stay with friends and family or are you keen to travel independently? A package holiday will ensure that everything has been booked for you, or are you looking for something a little more tailored where, extra support is given to those who need it and you can take along a friend, relative or carer.

Tips and advice to make sure you get the most out of your holiday

Here are some points to consider before booking a holiday and arranging your travel insurance

  • Make sure that the destination you are travelling to is not too dissimilar to the current environment for the individual with dementia. Unfamiliar surroundings can lead to anxiety and wandering
  • Try to keep daily routines as similar as possible so as not to cause too much confusion
  • Research the resort you are travelling to. Are essential amenities close by, including shops, a pharmacy and hospitals? How long is the transfer from the airport to the accommodation?
  • Consider booking into a smaller hotel as this may be less confusing for the individual with dementia to navigate around
  • How about travelling out of season or during the week? Airports and hotels are likely to be less busy and staff will be available to give you extra time and support
  • Consider getting a Medic Alert bracelet. This will help staff and emergency services identify vital information immediately especially if the person with dementia has become too confused to speak clearly.
  • Take important documents with you and leave a copy at home with a relative or friend. Make sure you pack the copy in a different place to the original.
  • Remember to keep your medicines with you. If your medication needs to be refrigerated, arrange ahead to ensure the airline and hotel has the correct facilities to accommodate this.
  • If you are travelling to Europe, then it is essential that you carry an EHIC – European Health Insurance Card. You can apply for a free card by following the link

Booking your dementia travel insurance

By booking your travel insurance with Direct Travel we may be able to offer cover to customers with dementia as a pre-existing condition, provided it is declared at the medical screening stage of the booking process. Please have to hand information about your condition, any medication you are currently taking and any treatment you have received. Unfortunately, it is harder to arrange travel insurance if you are awaiting a diagnosis or treatment, depending on which type of dementia you have. You should also talk to your Doctor / Consultant before confirming travel plans.

To provide peace of mind for patients, a policy which covers family members, and/or a carer may be suitable depending on your circumstances to ensure that everyone is covered appropriately. If, due to complications relating to your dementia you are unable to travel you may be able to make a claim for cancellation. Our policies also provide a 24-hour medical assistance line, expenses relating to ambulance and hospital costs and repatriation to the UK amongst others.