At this time of year you’re probably being bombarded with adverts for cut-price holidays, which can be disheartening if you feel like being a carer means that you and your loved one can’t take advantage of all those holiday offers, writes Angelina Manzano.
It’s only natural to worry about taking your loved one out of their own environment and comfort zone. It can be difficult to predict how they’ll react in new situations and towards new people which means traditional holiday packages are not a viable option.
The key to having a safe and enjoyable holiday is to book a trip that caters for people living with dementia and their carers that will offer support to both of you.
There are several holiday companies out there who offer this service. It means that your choice of destination will be more limited as the breaks are usually arranged in the format of small group tours, but there’s still a good range of UK-based packages to choose from.
As well as giving yourself and your loved one a much-needed break, a dementia-friendly holiday will widen your social circle and help you to connect with other carers.
Activities will be tailored to cater specially for people with dementia, and some holiday packages also include daily respite care to allow you to have some alone time to explore your destination while your loved one is well cared for in a safe environment.
Before you book though, it’s important to consider whether or not your loved one is in a place where they are still healthy enough to benefit from a holiday away, or whether it would cause more harm than good. Speak to your GP or care-provider who will be able to give you the best advice.
If you get the green light, then there are a few things that you should bear in mind when you book your holiday package:
• Consider where you are going, is the journey do-able for your loved one? You may need to choose a destination closer to home depending on your circumstances and whether or not the holiday-provider can provide support to reach your destination.
• Make sure you take all necessary medications with you.
• Check to see if you will need travel insurance and also make sure that your insurance company will cover your loved one.
• Look at the itinerary before you go so you have an idea of how your days will be spent.
• Take anything from home which may help your loved one to feel more settled during the trip.
• Don’t forget to discuss the trip with your loved one. They may have dementia but that doesn’t mean that they can’t get excited about their trip.
If you want to know more about dementia-friendly holidays, then take a look at these websites: