In the UK, there are 850,000 people living with some form of dementia. With an ageing population, numbers are set to rise to one million by 2025 and two million by 2051.
Whilst we wait and hope for a cure, there is much that can be done right now to enable people living with dementia to live healthier, more active and enjoyable lives. This would also bring emotional, social and physical benefits to dementia-affected families. This is the challenge ahead of us as a society, and why Dementia Adventure exists.
Dementia Adventure is a multi-award winning charity co-founded by Neil Mapes and Lucy Harding in 2009. The problem they identified was that once diagnosed, people with dementia were at risk of being indoors too much of the time, resulting in an unnecessary decline in their physical, emotional and social wellbeing.
The charity believes that with the right support, people living with dementia can continue to do the things they have always enjoyed, including:
- getting outdoors,
- remaining active,
- keeping connected to friends, family and their community, and
- retaining a sense of adventure in their lives.
Supported holidays can make a massive difference to the quality of life experienced by people living with dementia and their carers - removing the barriers that often prevent people from taking a break and allowing those living with dementia to enjoy time away together with their partner, family or friends. With £1.4 Million in funding received to date, players of People's Postcode Lottery directly help Dementia Adventure keep the cost of these short breaks affordable for more people - allowing them access to the outdoors in a meaningful way.
This year, Dementia Adventure will celebrate its 10th birthday milestone, and will look to to deliver 32 holidays in 11 different locations across the UK, with the potential to benefit 252 people.
Furthermore, research from Dementia Adventure shows the supported breaks continue to have a positive effect on the overall wellbeing of both the person with dementia and their carer for a considerable amount of time long after it has ended. These findings included:
- 100% of carers and 76% of people with dementia reported feeling positive after the holiday,
- 73% of carers said they felt that the holiday would help them sustain their caring role at home for longer, and
- 100% of those surveyed felt well supported on the holiday.