Maureen and her husband Mike are clients of supported-holiday charity Dementia Adventure. Following Mike's diagnosis of dementia when aged only 59, he has become less active than he was in the past due to confusion in outdoor spaces such as his and his wife Maureen's garden.
Being able to go away on a holiday is difficult for both Mike and Maureen, but as Maureen explains, it also benefits them both. "It feels hard that we can’t always do what we want to do and our choices are affected, but despite those things we have a positive attitude.
"We like to get away as often as possible with friends and family, as it gives us both something to look forward to and is a change from the normal every day pressures."
Dementia Adventure provides people like Mike and Maureen with a short break away from home, and also provides support during it, so that friends and family of those with dementia also feel the benefits of time away.
Maureen says, "Despite my initial thoughts about needing support we ended up being ever so grateful for the Dementia Adventure team throughout the break. They allowed me to take some time when I needed it and Mike really enjoyed their company. Nothing was too much trouble.
"I remember one particular moment when I needed to pack to return home, which disappointed Mike as he wanted to take a walk around the village. Dementia Adventure team member Matt offered to accompany Mike instead. I was able to pack and have some time to sit and read, which was unheard of."
Mike himself also benefited from Dementia Adventure holidays. "The holiday definitely benefited us - we find Mike is more relaxed when we’re away," explains Maureen, "Mike’s memory improves too. He remembers parts of his holidays in a way he doesn’t remember other things."
Dementia Adventure has, to date, received £400,000 in funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery. This money is used by the charity to help make supported-holidays more affordable and more accessible to families across the UK.
To find out more about Mike and Maureen's experience with Dementia Adventure, visit the Dementia Adventure website.