The Dementia-Friendly Airports Working Group, an offshoot of the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team, has had its best practices for screening individuals living with dementia incorporated by the TSA.
These best practices, developed by the Dementia-Friendly Airports Working Group (DFAWG) in collaboration with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), were included in two National Shift Briefs in October and have now been distributed to TSA agents at all U.S. airports.
These best practices provide guidance to agents that helps them understand unique challenges persons with dementia and their caregivers face when traveling by plane. The briefing outlines a set of accommodations that should be put in place to help persons with dementia and their caregivers better navigate the screening process.
DFAWG was formed in 2018 and was inspired by the Brisbane (Australia) Airport’s dementia-friendly airport protocols. Since then, the group has been working to bring awareness of the unique challenges persons with dementia and their caregivers face when traveling by plane.
DFAWG has also been instrumental in getting the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (MSP) to adopt the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard system. This new system for individuals who possess disabilities that may not be visible to a casual observer is expected to be rolled out by late November.
About the Dementia-Friendly Airports Working GroupThe Dementia-Friendly Airports Working Group is an international collaboration of professionals, academics, and volunteers focused on aging and dementia services and support systems, including present and former dementia care partners and people living with dementia. DFAWG’s mission is to promote the definition and implementation of substantive dementia-friendly protocols in U.S. airports and airlines and the harmonization of relevant air travel regulations world-wide. For more information about DFAWG, visit www.dementiafriendlyairports.com or contact Sara Barsel at DementiaFriendlyAirports@gmail.com.