Margaret and Brian’s Story
Margaret and Brian were introduced to Dementia Adventure by their daughter, Carol. Speaking about their holiday to the Isle of Wight in September, Brian says, “The entire experience was worth every penny”.
Margaret lives with Alzheimer’s, and her husband Brian cares for her. Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by the build-up of the proteins amyloid and tau in the brain. It affects memory and judgement, and in later stages can affect areas of the brain that control language and sensory processing.
The couple relies on the help of their daughter, but dealing with Margaret’s poor memory and occasional frustration can be tiring for Brian.
“I manage, but it is difficult. The memory part of it, it’s pretty bad. Having to constantly repeat things and dealing with the mood swings is exhausting.”
Besides which, Brian also has some health issues of his own.
“This is all part of my problem — not only has my wife got Alzheimer’s but I’m hard of hearing, amongst other things. I find it rather difficult to cope,” he admits.
When Carol first discovered Dementia Adventure at a dementia event, she encouraged her parents to book a holiday with us. Initially, Brian had reservations.
“I have to say that when it was first booked, I thought it was rather expensive. Physically I was concerned that I myself might struggle due to lack of mobility. I am partially disabled, and with Margaret having Alzheimer’s it was proving difficult. So, when we took on the holiday there were some question marks from my point of view.
However, having said that, having experienced the short holiday it wasn’t as expensive as I had considered because the whole thing, everything, was provided. Literally everything. And when you consider what was provided, that was really something. I thought that the entire experience was worth every penny.”
Brian noticed both himself and Margaret really unwinding, especially because having the volunteers on hand took the anxiety out of each day. Their presence meant that Brian didn’t have to constantly juggle his mobility issues against Margaret’s needs.
“Margaret was considerably calmer throughout the holiday, so much so that she wanted to stay longer! I felt the whole break was relaxing — I didn’t have the worry of, ‘What’s going to happen next?’ with Margaret. Physically on the odd occasion I did struggle, but there was always someone on hand to help. They were there all the time, ready for almost anything. They were really top class.”
Their favourite activities were some that they might not have been able to do without someone along to lend a helping hand; Margaret particularly enjoyed the horse and carriage ride around the local area.
“She really, really loved that. I enjoyed all of the trips too, but I thoroughly enjoyed the boat trip.”
The holiday continued to have an effect on both Margaret and Brian even after they returned home.
“When coming home I felt more relaxed, having benefitted from the break. Margaret told people what a lovely time she had. We are looking forward to experiencing another holiday with Dementia Adventure, in a different part of the UK.”
Would Brian recommend a holiday with Dementia Adventure to others?
“Yes. I very rarely recommend anything to anybody, that’s up to them, but in this case I have to say for people with dementia and their carers, I would recommend Dementia Adventure holidays to anybody. Anybody who wants to ask me. They really take on board your individual circumstances. Yes, it was literally top class.”