Mar 6, 2011

Dementia Adventure, We Need You in the U.S.

It has been such a long time since we went anywhere we would like some help and suggestions on what to do and where we could go...
By Max Wallack
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Today, I read about a unique program in the United Kingdom. Dementia Adventure’s purpose is to make it feasible for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers can take short vacations together.

Dementia Adventure plans to offer three different levels of support and tailor them to meet individual needs and desires as follows:

  1. 'I just need someone to come with me'

    Many people living with dementia and their carers have told us that they cannot currently get away because no one is prepared to go with them. We can supply a trained supporter who can accompany you on your trip. You may know where you want to go and what to do when you get there and want to control the full itinerary but simply need a Dementia Adventure supporter to go with you to share the load.

  2. 'It has been such a long time since we went anywhere we would like some help and suggestions on what to do and where we could go'

    Perhaps there is a place you feel connected to but have not visited recently? Perhaps there is a pastime or hobby we can help you access again? Our team of travel and dementia care experts will design a bespoke adventure experience to suit your timeframe and budget. We will design a tailor made itinerary carefuly planned to meet your needs and wishes.
  3. 'We want to get away, but can't begin to think what we would do. Can you offer us something?'

    If you would prefer to keep things simple then why not simply purchase an off-the-shelf trip. This will be an adventure our team has designed - you simply enjoy the adventure.
Dementia Adventure, I wish you had been available here when we needed you.

Great Grams went on every vacation with us, but it was very difficult. How wonderful it would have been to have someone along each day after dark, after we spent the whole day with Great Grams and ourselves having a great time.

When we wanted to sleep, Great Grams would become hyper and disoriented and keep us all up all night. So many hotels today have two bedroom suites. How great it would have been to have Great Grams in our suite, but sharing a room with a caregiver who was not all tired out and could, perhaps, have given her the calm, undivided attention that she was needing each evening.

It would have made the vacation much better for all of us.

 One of the commentators on the Dementia Adventure site, said it best:
delighted to hear of your dementia adventure, you will be meeting a real need for so many people. Life should not stop when you or your partner are diagnosed with dementia. Especially the enjoyment of nature, it should be encouraged and this is what is so exciting about Dementia Adventure, the message is positive, you are enabling this to be possible, to give the message of hope and enjoyment in life for people who have dementia . Please carry on the good work, and where we can we will spread the good word.

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Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.
Alzheimer's Disease -- Advice and Insight

Original content Max Wallack, the Alzheimer's Reading Room