How to travel with dementia during holidays

As the summer draws near we all look for jolly days by sea on blissful sandy beaches. Taking time out from routine life, family holidays are full of treasured memories that last a lifetime.

Thoughts of family holidays may have to dismiss if a member of the family is living with dementia. Without good planning, the traveling and family holiday with dementia can be more difficult and unprofitable for everyone.

Should we take a person with dementia for holidays?

The first thing you should consider is, how well your family member with dementia can cope with the change in routine, the different surroundings, being confined in a plane or with delays at airports?

Considering a holiday in U.K with advanced dementia?

A specialist company is a better option for both the sufferer and their carer, to ensure that everyone can relax fully and enjoy the break.

It is evident that there is an emotional and physical benefit of taking a holiday for a dementia sufferer.

A research conducted by Specialist Holiday Company Dementia Adventure has shown that 74% of people with dementia lack the confidence to go outside, and 73% have fear and safety concerns. However, if a dementia sufferer does attend an assisted outdoor event, such as their ‘’walking in the woods’’ project, findings indicate that immersion in nature had emotional benefits such as:

  • A stronger sense of self
  • Having more control
  • Spiritual uplift
  • Emotional improvement

Physical benefits include:

  • Increased verbal expression
  • Good sleep
  • Memory improvement

During their holidays, uplift in confidence is usually experienced by the dementia sufferer as they feel empowered to do something new, such as holding the helm of a boat when sailing. The empowering uplift effect has been observed to last for a long time, after returning home.

Can you fly with dementia?

There is every possibility that a person with dementia can fly but it would be advised to consider the past lifestyle of the person. For example, if they used to be a traveler comfortable both with flying and foreign climates or if their exciting holidays was somewhere closer to home.

Anything unfamiliar or a change in their surroundings, a dementia patient usually gets confused. So, if they have never been abroad before, it is pointless to start now.

Due to the strict security measures that are restrictive and controlled, flying is stressful for all of us. But airlines and airports have arranged to support people with dementia in the last few years, following a government initiative to change the perception of dementia.

Tips when flying with dementia:

  • Check the medical and airline policy assistance in advance. Have a complete medical information form.
  • Keep medication, insurance documents and medical certificates with you.
  • Let the airport staff know about your arrival and ask for the lanyard scheme.
  • Put a list of contacts into your relative’s pocket and ensure they wear a Medic alert bracelet.
  • Arrive at the airport quite ahead of the time to avoid stress.
  • Use earplugs to avoid the noise.

Holidays for dementia patients in the UK-

Holidaying within UK is easier and with the choice of smaller hotels and rental cottages but still, you need careful planning. There are specialist companies that offer a holiday with organized activities for both dementia sufferers and their carers.

Dementia friendly holiday companies:

  • Dementia adventure
  • Revitalize
  • Can be done
  • Mind for you

Disability Discrimination Act-

There are rights to protect anyone with dementia when taking a holiday in the UK. According to the Equality Act 2010 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, service businesses have to make a reasonable adjustment to ensure their service is accessible to disabled people.

‘’Disabled’’ is defined as anyone with mental impairments that have an adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal, day- to –day activities.

For example, the Act means that:

  • An airline cannot charge for the use of a wheelchair if you are disabled.
  • Expect a person with dementia to use plastic cups and plates.
  • A hotel cannot refuse to accept your booking or offer less favorable terms because of your disability.

You can contact the Equality Advisory Support Service if you find that a service business has discriminated against your loved ones because of their dementia.

Always plan ahead and then you can enjoy your holiday.

Both normal and people with dementia need a break from their routine life now and then. However, with dementia sufferer, taking a holiday can be more challenging and confusing due to a new environment. Therefore, it is important that the holiday is well planned in advance. This will allow the person with dementia to accommodate the change in environment and also ensure that the pace of the holiday is carefully considered to meet the person’s abilities.

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