One way the charity helps people to access these benefits is through their supported holidays. They are an alternative to traditional respite, enabling families to enjoy a holiday together, and for everyone to get the break they need.
During lockdown the usual support for families was withdrawn, meaning family carers were left isolated, and exhausted. People with dementia were kept inside, away from the community, which led to an unnecessary decline in their condition. This means these holidays are more important than ever. However, with the cost of living rising, holidays can feel like a luxury that most can’t afford. Which is why the charity is so thankful for the support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Before the holiday
Hannah’s biggest concern was being able to afford a holiday for the four of them, as they live on Neil’s pension, but Dementia Adventure supported them to find additional funding.
The family chose a 7-night holiday in the traditional seaside resort of Cromer. The itinerary was planned with the family, giving them the choice of how they spent their time. The priority was to make sure everyone got what they needed from the holiday.
“We went down to the beach together and when it got a bit much for Neil, Dementia Adventure took him for a hot chocolate so I could spend another couple of hours on the beach with the kids.”
Dementia Adventure took Hannah and Neil and their two daughters, aged 13 and 12, on their first supported holiday to Norfolk. Their lives changed when Neil, 57, was diagnosed with young onset dementia.
As an active family, they had always enjoyed getting away, but holidays had become increasingly difficult. Hannah says,
“It just isn’t a break, and it's not that great for the girls either, because I can't join in the activities with them because I'm looking after Neil.”
Seeing Neil enjoy himself was a highlight of the holiday for Hannah,
“An instructor helped Neil do the zip wire, and you saw the delight in his face having done it. You could see his mood improve. It was lovely watching him and the girls doing something together.”
Since The Holiday
The holiday showed the family how valuable it is to do activities together. The support from Dementia Adventure has given Hannah more confidence to do it.
“Previous to the Dementia Adventure holiday, I would not have been able to take Neil on holiday. They showed me he does get worth and value from the trip, and it doesn't ruin it for the girls as much as I perhaps thought it did, so we still need to include him. And actually, if I plan it, I can still enjoy it as well.”
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised £2,659,135 for Dementia Adventure with funds being awarded through Postcode Care Trust.