A simple guide for holidays and dementia

You may decide you want to go on holiday with your loved one who has dementia. Whether it’s a trip abroad or in this country, with family and friends or just the two of you; here’s some useful tips for before, during and after your holiday.

What are the benefits for someone with dementia to go on holiday?

Planning a holiday for your loved one with dementia can be a great way to improve their wellbeing. Here are some of the benefits [i]:

  • Stimulation through new and exciting experiences.
  • Creating shared memories with your loved one.
  • Quality time together.
  • Reconnecting
  • Organising mindful and engaging activities.


Specialist holidays vs independent travelling

Specialist Holidays

  • You get access to specialist equipment or professional carers while on holiday. 
  • Someone with dementia can go on these holidays alone. 
  • They can also go with a friend, relative or carer. 
  • Specialist holidays often offer a mix of day trips and on-site activities, with time to socialise as a larger group if you wish [ii]

Independent Travelling

  • Consider going with an extra person if your loved one needs high levels of support. 
  • When booking your trip, get in touch with the company and ask what they can offer to meet the needs of someone with dementia.
  • If possible, think about booking ‘out of season’, as places are likely to be less busy and staff will be able to give you more time and attention [iii]

Tips to engage your loved one while you’re both settling in

  • Give your loved one a simple task to include them, such as hanging clothes in the wardrobe.
  • If they seem unsettled or tired, it may help to have a warm drink, relax and leave the unpacking until later.
  • Try keep to their usual routine, for example, set meal times and bedtime.
  • Bring familiar and personal items to help them to feel settled.
  • Ask for extra covers or a mattress protector if your loved one has difficulty with incontinence.
  • Consider looking into assistive technology to help on your trip. You can find out more about this online and have a look at our Bridgit Shop.


Where can I go for more information?

For more information about going on holiday with your loved one, have a look at the Alzheimer’s Society website.