Dementia Adventure has a vision of society in which people live well with dementia, have contact and connection with nature, and enjoy a sense of adventure.
A society where people enjoy a full range of activities, have strong relationships with people in their communities and have access to places connected to their interests, passions and dreams.
Amazing, made a big difference to our lives, we feel so much more positive and stronger emotionally.
In September 2018, we were given the chance to support Steve who, at 61, was in the process of being diagnosed with early onset dementia.
At that time, he and his partner Linda were going through a terrible time in their lives, both emotionally and financially. The couple were both unemployed and without any proper benefits in place and they were relying on the local food bank. They needed something to lift them out of what was threatening to become a downward spiral. We helped them have a break, fully subsidised from our charity resources.
We picked them up from home, and took them away for a five-day break to Magdalen farm in Dorset. During the week away, they really had the chance to relax and enjoy themselves and importantly, ate well for the first time in ages. After the holiday Linda said she felt: “Uplifted—grateful that someone cared enough to help us… Not invisible anymore… Able to leave the house and stand up for what we need as a family… Life changing.”
HOLIDAYS AND SHORT BREAKS
Since 2014, players’ support has helped us to increase the number of people living with dementia, and their carers, who have enjoyed our unique supportive and adventurous holidays.
620 people have benefited from a supported dementia holiday
We have delivered over 100 holidays
In 2018 our first international holidays to Portugal were recognised with a Silver Travel award
In 2018 we provided 219 holiday places in that year alone, an increase of 140% from the previous year.
“Dementia makes day to day living a very lonely and boring existence. It was great to be amongst people who understood the problems and gave all of us a chance to forget it and just have fun and be able to laugh again. I saw glimpses of David that I haven’t seen for a long time.”
Gill (family carer)
“I came across Dementia Adventure’s Thames Sailing Barge trip, and I thought, ‘that would be fun.’ A bit of self-interest there! We were nervous, as this boat is moored off the shore for a week, so you’re committed. We went and the rest was history.
“Looking back, I usually picture Dad with cake. Cake plays a big part in Dementia Adventure holidays! One holiday to Cornwall really stands out. The usual format on DA holidays is four pairs, each with a volunteer carer. We went on that trip as strangers, and by the end everyone really got on. It is hard to put it into words, there’s a sort of magic to it. Everyone relaxes, all the carers muck in. Dad would attach himself to one of the volunteers and go off chatting away. I’d find myself with someone else and we just swapped around. It was like a big family holiday.
“Dementia Adventure gave Dad something to look forward to and keep him going. Dad lived quite happily with dementia and DA played a big part in that.”
Chris (family carer)
Dementia Adventure gave Dad something to look forward to and keep him going. Dad lived quite happily with dementia and DA played a big part in that.
TRAINING & SUPPORT
Players’ support has helped us to upskill and build confidence in individuals and organisations. We show people how to ‘think differently about dementia’ as a catalyst to increasing the availability and impact of nature based, positive risk taking activities for people with dementia.
Directly trained and supported nearly 10,000 individuals
Benefited over 600 individuals through a new programme of ‘Thinking Differently about Dementia’ events for unpaid family carers
Developed innovative digital learning resources, significantly increasing our potential reach. Thinking Differently about Dementia films and e-learning resources for the Royal Voluntary Service volunteers have benefited over 800 people in just six months.
We conducted an evaluation of over 41 Thinking Differently about Dementia half-day events delivered across two years reaching 447 carers of people with dementia. Feedback showed how attendees gained new knowledge about dementia, and understanding and empathy for what someone living with dementia was feeling:
82% have the confidence to go outdoors and try new things
96% have a better understanding of how to communicate with someone living with dementia
96% have a more positive understanding of dementia
People told us about the impact on their lives. Many carers went away from the events with a better understanding of the support available locally and nationally, providing a legacy of support whilst also feeling much more positive with their situation. They said things like:
“This is something everyone living with a relative with dementia should attend. I feel so much more positive leaving the session than when I walked through the door. It’s made me feel less alone and more optimistic on this journey.”