Dementia patients and their carers holiday together

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
Bournemouth

Bournemouth

For those caring for people with dementia, holidays are difficult. The usual answer is that the person with dementia goes into respite care for the few days or weeks and the carers take a well-earned break.

That traditional approach is being challenged more and more with both the the person and the carers taking holidays together. Some will find that the release that a holiday away from the person affected is necessary to re-charge batteries and to live a “normal” life without being on 24 hour watch. Others want to spend as much time as possible with the person whilst what little of the memory remains.

No solution fits all.

It is becoming increasingly popular for carers and the person to go on holiday together but few holiday companies are geared up for such a break. Now one specialised company – MindforYou – has increased the number of holidays that it has on offer.

This social enterprise organisation has teamed up with a national website to extend its reach. They are the first specialising in dementia support to be featured on www.disabledholidays.com, going live during this week, Dementia Awareness Week

Leicestershire-based MindforYou has extended its programme and taken on more staff because of the popularity of its breaks and day trips at specially selected venues by the sea and in Norfolk, the Peak District, Yorkshire and Scotland. Over half of guests are taking a second holiday within six months.  The five-day holidays are unique, providing appropriate accommodation and activities (such as shows, gardens and historic houses) for five couples at a time. Enough support staff are present to give carers relaxing ‘me time’ every day.

Research with Loughborough University has shown that the breaks have major benefits for carers, including lower stress and less disrupted sleep.

MindforYou’s founders Carol Sargent and Jo Harris make a point of getting to know their guests before trips so that their individual needs are fully understood and catered for – making the transition for the person living with dementia much easier. This understanding has come about because Carol’s own mother had dementia for nine years so she is aware

There are thought to be around 900,000 people with dementia in the UK and 670,000 carers. More information about the enterprise, its trips, holidays and other services can be found at www.mindforyou.co.uk. As a social enterprise, any profits made by MindforYou are being reinvested in the business, which also supports other local dementia-friendly initiatives.

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