According to recent research findings, tourism may soon be recognized as an intervention for dementia since it offers an experience comparable to cognitive stimulation treatments now in use. People often connect vacationing with feelings of revitalization and renewal, providing a much-needed escape from the pressures of day-to-day living. There is no denying that travel may provide one-of-a-kind, thrilling experiences: The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) said that a record number of 1.5 billion international tourists visited its sites in 2019. The number of tourists visiting Thailand increased from to 38.35 million people in 2018 and then 41 million in 2020 before Covid. Since easing travel rules surrounding COVID19, there is a growing interest in how travel can improve one’s mental health and serve as a sort of treatment.
Benefits of Travel
A stimulating experience may be had when travelling due to the many facets of the activity. Some examples of these facets are sightseeing, social activities, promote neurogenesis, increase production of stem cells and enhanced mobility for patients with arthritis. Because it has been shown that cognitive stimulation may both engage the brain and prevent cognitive loss, travel has emerged as an appealing alternative for treating dementia. This study was published in Tourism Management and came from a team of researchers from various disciplines at Edith Cowan University in Australia.
More than 57 million individuals all around the globe are living with dementia. Treating dementia has proven extremely difficult, even though it is the seventh most significant cause of mortality. The blood-brain barrier, which stops most treatments from reaching their intended target—the brain—and our poor knowledge of how the illness progresses significantly challenges the ability for a cure.
Traveling for Well-Being
There are currently knowledge gaps about the connection between medical tourism and the treatment of dementia. In addition to the conventional pharmacological therapies, the primary emphasis of medication administration, this investigation aims to fill in some of the blanks and investigate the possibility of travel as a therapy for brain injuries.
The lead researcher, Dr Jun Wen, from the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University, collaborated with a broad team of specialists spanning the tourism and medical disciplines to delve further into how tourism may provide possible health advantages for persons who have dementia, parkinson’s disease or recovering from stroke.
“Exercise, cognitive stimulation…and adjustments to a patient’s mealtimes and surroundings”
According to the research findings, travel intervention may provide various stimulating experiences, from cognitive to emotional to sensory. When combined with a standard medication regimen, travelling can also potentially eliminate brain fog, improve the quality of dementia treatment that is already available.
The group observed that going on vacation provides an experience similar to the standard treatment protocols suggested by specialists in the medical field.
Travel Boosts Happiness & Satisfaction
The group is confident that the viewpoint of tourism and its worth has significantly expanded beyond the superficial label of a holiday due to the influence that Covid-19 has had. Dr Wen has high expectations that something new would be able to be done to connect tourism and health research with the help of this study.
More in-depth study and data will need to be gathered to assess the full potential of tourism as an alternative medical intervention for overall wellness, mental illnesses such as dementia and depression.