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Agnes Houston, EWGPWD Vice-Chair, writes about her experience in Brussels

Monday 21 March 2016

My daughter Donna and I attended the European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD) meeting held in Brussels Monday 21st to Wednesday 23rd March 2016.

Traveling with dementia is still doable, but I find it takes more planning and at times I need to use assisted travel.

In spite of preparation, things do happen to upset all plans, and this was one of those trips. Thankfully my daughter, Donna is an experienced traveller assisting people with dementia, so we had extra medication contact numbers with us.

Also having the internet and mobile phones was a great asset to keep in touch with home. These were especially needed during this trip as security and emotions were heightened due to the terrorist bombing attacks at Brussels metro and airport on Tuesday.

People with dementia need routine, so the meeting continued as planned, with Alzheimer Europe (AE) staff, Ana and Dianne remaining calm throughout, although the sirens of ambulances and police sounded all day on Tuesday - a constant reminder of what was taking place outside.

The hotel staff were accommodating and attentive. Yes, business as usual!

Donna liaised behind the scenes with AE staff also briefing Alzheimer Scotland.

It's with a happy heart, I report that all the attendees of the EWGPWD and AE staff arrived home safe and well.

Our thoughts go out to those affected by the events on Tuesday in Brussels.

It's a personal choice, but for me to travel and campaign, the camaraderie and peer support far outweigh the stresses.

The Scottish Dementia Working Group has a booklet and DVD on Travelling Safely with Dementia visit the website.

You can view the booklet here: http://www.sdwg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/Travelling-with-Dementia.pdf

And the video here: http://www.sdwg.org.uk/videos/#20

 

Agnes Houston

Vice-Chair of EWGPWD (pictured, front row in the red cardigan)

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