Nov 17, 2014
The thrill of a holiday and a well-deserved break away from it all is something we all look forward to. It’s no different for people living with dementia. A holiday can provide new experiences, conjure up old memories and give a welcome break from everyday routines.
To ensure everyone has a relaxing and enjoyable holiday experience it’s important to plan carefully and begin preparations well in advance of the holiday date. A top priority when organising a holiday is to choose an environment that people living with dementia feel comfortable in.
At Hadrian Park we believe the value a holiday offers residents is worth the hard work it takes to organise. Residents love their holidays and get so much out of them. In 2013 we took a group of residents to a Haven Holiday site in Haggerston Castle in Northumberland and a great time was had by all. This year we decided to try Haven’s Primrose Valley site on the north east coast. It’s a beautiful part of the country and we knew that the team at Haven would be on hand to ensure everyone had a great time.
The five residents that were able to come to Primrose Valley had a wonderful time. They chose what they wanted to eat and helped shop for the meals we prepared in the caravan. They loved both the daytime and evening activities and some danced until the early hours! The staff at the camp were very helpful and were on hand to help the ladies into the boats on the boating lake. They also tried quad biking, made clay pots, played bingo and had lots of leisurely walks in the surrounding countryside.
When you are accompanying people on a group holiday it’s important to start planning early. This year we started collecting tokens from a newspaper so we could secure the booking early and have plenty of time to plan. Location is a key part of our holiday decision and we always choose a destination that is within a 2 hour drive of the care home - in case we need to get back quickly.
We are fortunate to have access to a minibus that is owned by a sister Care UK care home so we made sure we booked it early. Before the holiday our activity co-ordinator Karen headed up to Primrose Valley to do a site visit and speak to Haven representatives about residents’ specific needs. She viewed the accommodation and was able to reserve caravans that were located near the main facilities, which meant we could minimise walking. Karen also took the opportunity to look at the available activities so we could plan our days before arriving.
We also knew that the health and circumstances of some residents was likely to change before the holiday date, so we were prepared for lots of changes. The beauty of a caravan holiday is that we didn’t have to cancel any rooms and it meant we just had more space!
During our stay we were approached by a social worker who was on holiday with her family. She commented that she had never known a care home take residents on holiday and praised us for the wonderful job we were doing. Its comments like this that make our jobs worthwhile.
Marsh House Avenue, Billingham, Cleveland, TS23 3DF
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