One size doesn’t fit all for a holiday, that’s why there are so many different holiday options to choose from. When planning a holiday with or for someone who is living with dementia, there are extra factors to consider in addition to interests, personal preferences and budget. For example, it’s important to think about how a person’s dementia affects daily activities and any additional requirements they might have. How will they react to unfamiliar surroundings? Would it be better to find accommodation that is smaller in size in order to minimise confusion? These are the types of questions to consider when choosing a trip for those living with dementia.
Advice for staying with relatives
Particularly for those in the later stages of the illness, travelling to familiar places such as relatives’ homes is often the best option. This is because it offers the most comfort, reducing anxiety and confusion. When planning a trip to stay with relatives or a family holiday, it’s important to speak openly about what to expect and what each family member can do to make the trip a success. Does the normal carer also require a break?
How to stay safe
Staying safe when travelling relies upon good preparation and foresight. Ensure that the carer has a bag of essentials with them at all times to include medications, a change of clothes, water, snacks and a travel itinerary. Create an itinerary with information about the destination and your activities and distribute these to emergency contacts back at home. It’s a good idea for the person with dementia to wear an identification bracelet and carry contact information, as wandering can be triggered by a change in environment.
When staying in a hotel or similar serviced accommodation, it’s often a good idea to inform the staff in advance of any specific needs so they can be well prepared – never be afraid to ask for assistance.
Consider a respite care break
Sometimes, travelling abroad or staying with relatives is not an option. In such situations, one of the best alternatives to consider is respite care. Respite care is a short term break in a residential home, allowing for carers and those living with dementia to enjoy some time apart. Caring is rewarding, yet demanding, and all carers need some time to themselves to ensure they do they best job possible of caring for an older person. At Barchester, we work hard to ensure that individual needs are met by our friendly staff and all temporary residents enjoy a fulfilling break. Many of our homes are set in scenic locations, perfect for short breaks. Respite care can also be a great way to enjoy a trial stay at a residential home, before making the final decision.
If you’d like to hear more about the dementia and respite care services available at Barchester, please don’t hesitate to make an enquiry or set up a visit to one of your local care homes.