How Travel Therapy Beneficial for Dementia Patients
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How Travel Therapy Beneficial for Dementia Patients

The most interesting activity is travelling. The majority of individuals go on vacation, to relax, find themselves, or explore new things. Travelling has several advantages, including lowering stress levels, improving physical health and fitness, and elevating mood. But did you realise that travel is good for your brain? Travelling can lessen dementia, according to research in the October 2022 issue of Tourism Management. Although it hasn’t been studied, travelling has a substantial positive impact on the mental health and well-being of those with dementia. Before discussing how travel benefits those with dementia.


Dementia cannot be cured, however, it can be reduced or slowed down through therapy and meditation. Dementia treatments are continuously being developed, and wellbeing initiatives are being supported. One such study looked at the advantages of travel for those who have dementia. Here is how travel is beneficial.


Benefits of Travel therapy

Regarding the benefits of travel for those who have dementia. According to researchers, travelling has four key advantages. There are four types of experiences: affective (feelings and emotions), cognitive (thoughts and memories), conative (behaviour and attitude), and sensory (senses)  Additionally, according to researchers, travel therapy benefits the non-pharmacological aspects of dementia, such as cognitive and sensory stimulation. For example, stimulating thoughts and knowledge while travelling can benefit those who have dementia, increase social interaction and potentially stimulate brain function, and stimulate memories and mood while moving and exercising the body. According to the study, persons with dementia may also benefit from positive psychology, which includes things like what people can do, happy experiences, and well-being. By promoting social interaction or visiting sensory-stimulating locales, group travel benefits dementia patients.


Dr Jun Wen, a lecturer in tourism and hospitality management at Edith Cowan University’s School of Business and Law, claimed that travel experiences had components of anticipation and planning, which excite the brain. Going to serene locations like beaches and woods enhances mood, exercise, and music while assisting with sensory information. Travelling in groups can mimic psychological treatments and social interactions that assist dementia sufferers to connect with others and share experiences that stimulate the brain.


What the Research Says 

Since Andrea Robinson already wrote on the advantages of vacation to mental health in the 2017 Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse newsletter, travel therapy is not exactly a new topic. Our mental health can also be enhanced by vacations by lowering anxiety and depression. By removing people from the activities and places that they associate with stress and anxiety, vacations can enhance mood and lessen stress. Vacations lowered melancholy and served as a stress-reduction measure, according to Canadian research of more than 800 lawyers. A quick getaway might ease your stress. A brief, three-day vacation was found to reduce subjective stress levels and levels of the “stress hormone cortisol” in a small Japanese study.


Even though Dr Wen’s work explores a lot of novel concepts, more research is still required. It aids in the development of more varied therapy choices for dementia patients. The group travel strategy, according to him, is the greatest dementia treatment available. Decisions about tourism as an intervention should be made with the input of the entire team, including medical staff, caregivers, and family members, as dementia treatment helps to ensure the best possible care. He continues by saying that the locations should be carefully chosen and have a positive vibe. because certain locations offer greater sensory stimulation than other locations. Rich experiences and mental stimulation vary by location.

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