Ensuring a smooth journey: Improving the accessibility of airports for travellers with dementia

Ensuring a smooth journey

Many people have more leisure time as they age and use this time to enjoy travel. A diagnosis of dementia does not mean that people stop travelling. Improvements to transport infrastructure have come about by considering the needs of people with mobility impairments, however there has been very little consideration given to the needs of people with cognitive impairments such as dementia. If we are to significantly increase the self-determination and independence of people living with dementia, we need to ensure that they can participate in the same activities as the rest of society. This study will use a knowledge translation framework to collaborate with airport decision makers and staff to improve the accessibility of airports for travellers with dementia. We will be using findings derived from previous projects undertaken by the research team which identified the airport as the most challenging component of the travel experience for people with dementia. The project, conducted in collaboration with Brisbane Airport Corporation, will address this challenge by developing training resources for staff in customer contact roles at airports, and by developing a user guide for people with dementia and their travelling companions to help them to navigate the airport with ease.

Funding / Grants

  • Dementia Collaborative Research Centre


  • Dr Maria O’Reilly (Lead CI)
  • Prof Elizabeth Beattie
  • Prof Helen Edwards
  • Ms Sandra Jeavons
  • Ms Nicole Shepherd
  • Prof Lindy Willmott