What people with dementia see as ‘Dementia Friendly Tourism’
This source preferred by Clare Cutler
Authors: Cutler, C., Innes, A. and Page, S.
There is little research exploring the interconnection between the experience of people with dementia and their engagement with tourism. Maintaining well-being while living with dementia by keeping physically, socially and mentally active is well documented, and can help to reduce the risk of dependence and health deterioration for those diagnosed with dementia. However there is no research on the role that tourism can play in supporting the well-being of people with dementia and their carers.
There is a growing body of knowledge emerging that argues that tourism can be used as a major tool for positive enhancement of the quality of life of social groups such as the elderly and those incapacitated by medical ailments. Currently much of the tourism research remains high generic and largely focused on the barriers and problems facing such groups rather than a more health focused enabling strategy that is about making a difference to destinations and visitors. This presentation will report on a pilot project, involving focus group interviews with people with dementia and their carers, conducted in the South of England in 2012. The paper will discuss people with dementia and their family members experiences of using and visiting tourist attractions locally, nationally and internationally and their views about how tourism could be developed to be more ‘dementia friendly’ in the future. The paper will suggest how the tourism industry can respond to the needs of people with dementia and their carers to increase their use of tourist attractions, accommodation and resorts in the future. This project demonstrates the potential role of tourism in promoting well-being for people with dementia.