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This Education in Motion resource is also available as a printable PDF.
There is great understanding in the caring community that carers (whether they are employed or a member of the family) benefit from some time away from their duties.
There are many organisations offering people who need carers, time away from their home and there are plenty of organisations that provide opportunities for carers to find some respite from their duties. There is less focus on holidaying with your live-in carer or people taking a break away with their carer. Everyone deserves a holiday whether they are disabled or able-bodied, whether they need daily assistance or are a provider of care.
Travelling with a carer is no different from regular travel in the sense that it requires planning and decision making. It just requires different criteria than if you were a solo person, couple, or family planning a trip. With the right planning, you and your carer can enjoy a great holiday together.
The key questions and considerations for the planning process
1. What type of holiday do you want?
2. Where do you want to go?
3. What type of accommodation do you want?
4. Questions of accessibility
5. What medical issues need to be catered for?
6. Can you get travel insurance to fully cover you?
Type of holiday
There are many types of holidays available, it's the case of deciding what you both like to do. Firstly, decide if it is to be a trip of a lifetime type holiday, a holiday to test the waters to see how you can handle carer-assisted travel, or a holiday for a break away from routine and a change of scene. Don’t compromise on your wishlist. All types of holidays are accessible, and their feasibility will become clearer as you work your way through the planning process. Do you want an adventure, a sightseeing holiday in a historical setting, a beach escape, a cruise, a theme park holiday, a second honeymoon, or a luxury all-inclusive pampering break?
This may be where you need to start considering limitations. Is flying an option, or train, or a ferry? But, it’s not just about travelling there. Will you require transport to get around once you’ve reached your destination? Developed countries are generally disabled and accessible aware but, facilities might be lacking in developing countries that could make it difficult when holidaying. There are, however, supported holidays for specific care needs that might venture into exotic places that could be considered.
This very much depends on what you are comfortable with and the relationship between the caregiver and receiver. Is it appropriate to share a room for example, is assisted or adapted accommodation needed? Review your accommodation carefully to understand potential limits (lifts, stairs, bathrooms etc).
Accessibility means being able to experience the holiday and the things you want to do easily. This means looking at the practical aspects of your destination and the type of holiday you have chosen. Some practicalities to consider are; is the public transport wheelchair friendly? what’s the access to beach like? The criteria will be different for every individual depending on care needs.
This is another individual-driven consideration. The current medical requirements and care situation needs to be replicated in your chosen destination, you might have to make certain arrangements for the travel itself, especially for example if you are travelling by air where there are certain regulations to be complied with and conditions which must be reported to the airline. There are other extraneous factors to consider such as laws regarding the carrying of medicines containing controlled substances. The UK Government website has a very useful travel section that can answer questions.
Travel insurance can usually be obtained. It is important that all pre-existing medical conditions are disclosed as this could invalidate the insurance if not. Review the policies available to find a suitable one to cover all needs, rather than just opt for a cheap generic policy.
There is a big wide magical world out there and there is no reason why a caregiver and the cared-for should not enjoy it together. Good planning, sensible expectations, and practical application can make a fun and memorable care-assisted holiday.
The Krypton is is the lightest adjustable wheelchair in the world and perfect for your travels. When the Krypton is folded, you can choose to remove the wheels or stow the wheelchair in a folded position. The fold-down back option provides an even more compact folding package.