Fiona Scott Media Consultanccy

Dr Carol Sargent who is an expert in dementia-inclusive tourism, has supported Visit England to create an accessible and inclusive tourism toolkit for relevant businesses.

The scientist who has devoted her life to improving inclusivity for those living with dementia and their families, offered her wealth of experience to help this national organisation educate businesses aligned to tourism such as hotels, self-catering accommodation, visitor attractions and food and beverage businesses.

Carol said: “As July is Disability Pride Month, this is a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of disabilities, start positive conversations and celebrate the diversity and differences of the disabled community.

“1 in 5 of the UK population are disabled and 80 per cent of these people have a hidden disability. That's over 10 million people and this includes the dementia community and many of their amazing older adult unpaid family carers.”

Carol was consulted due to her experience in founding and running a charity for ten years organising dementia-inclsuive holidays. She created the organisation following her experiences in caring for her own mother and mother-in-law who both had dementia. In recent years, Carol has set up her own professional consultancy to aid the wider tourism sector to embrace this often forgotten sector of society.

The tools she suggested for the Visit England toolkit include:

  • Information about dementia, giving examples of tips particularly relevant to the community such as the importance of a warm welcome and being treated just like everybody else. 
  • Changes in narrative so that businesses recognise that the dementia community are customers who want to go on holiday. 
  • Raising the importance of communicating with the person diagnosed with dementia, taking the time to talk directly to the person and providing them with the opportunity to share their particular requirements. 
  • Taking into the consideration the needs of their unpaid family carers who travel with their loved ones. 
  • Contributing to the presentations Visit England share with regional DMOs (destination management organisations which were once called tourist boards).  

“It’s refreshing for the dementia community to be incorporated in the simple hints and tips that are outlined in this tool kit. What strikes me most is the most important thing for not just the dementia community, but for all disabled communities is the importance of a warm welcome and being treated just like everybody else.”

Emily Yates from Mima Group was responsible for leading the ambitious Visit England project. She recently took part in an episode of Carol’s podcast all inclusive solutions which she co-hosts with GP Dr Tom Adler, a retired GP who creator of Bide, a device to help prevent falls from a bed.

 “Disability affects us all. There is no such thing as disabled and non-disabled people there is only disabled and not yet disabled people and the more we understand that inclusivity affects us all, the better and, hopefully, the more traction we can get with this whole thing.” 

Carol has also been instrumental in creating a ‘DEEP Discoveries’ group run by people diagnosed and living with dementia who are working to make tourism more dementia inclusive, who can consult directly with Visit England or any other organsiations on dementia matters.

“We need as a society to be more dementia aware and less ‘dementia afraid’. People with dementia, their families and friends can live their best lives and continue to travel for many years if we simply offer more compassion and support. A little understanding can make a lot of difference,” she said.

To find the Visit England Accessible and Inclusive Toolkit for Businesses visit

Podcast with Emily Rose Yates All Inclusive Tourism Solutions is here:

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