Take a trip for your brain health

Nobody needs an excuse to take a vacation, but Australian researchers suggest a break from the daily grind has mental and physical health benefits, including for adults with dementia.

“Medical experts can recommend dementia treatments such as music therapy, exercise, cognitive stimulation, reminiscence therapy, sensory stimulation, and adaptations to the patient’s mealtimes and environment. They are also often found during vacations,” lead researcher Jun Wen, senior lecturer in tourism and hospitality management at Edith Cowan University School of Business and Law, said in a statement.

Wen and his fellow researchers suggest in an article published in Tourism management that travel therapy, such as music therapy and art therapy, should be accessible to adults with dementia. “This research is among the first to conceptually discuss how these tourism experiences could potentially work as dementia interventions,” he said.

Although some research has shown the health benefits of tourism for people in general, more research is needed to show how it can improve the lives of people with conditions like dementia and depression, Wen said.

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“Tourism is generally considered a form of leisure that frees people from everyday life. The unique emotional states, thoughts, and memories evoked by tourism have the potential to positively influence the well-being of people with dementia,” the researchers wrote.