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Blogs Norfolk

Taking the Grandparents on holiday!

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Written by Helen Burgess

We’re fresh out of the Christmas holidays – a time when many families come together on mass to eat, drink and be merry. I know sadly this is might not be the case for everyone but the point we’re trying to make is that older people don’t just have to be for Christmas. Why don’t we take this family spirit and apply it with a big dose of sun lotion?

The new Minister for Loneliness Mims Davies recently suggested that families should take their grandparents on holiday. She went on to say Britons could learn from the example of Mediterranean nations, where families involve the older generations more in their daily lives.

We couldn’t agree more and think a small shift in mind set would help people realise that the reality of an extended family holiday could actually benefit everyone.

Or, if you don’t fancy holiday on mass (admittedly it’s not for everyone) – there are other travel opportunities available for older people which offers them a wonderful holiday and you some much needed respite.

Respite & Relax

Looking after an elderly parent can be a time consuming and emotionally tiring for everyone involved, we know. It’s a lot of responsibility and can be especially difficult if you are an only child and have no sibling, or other family member, to help spread the load. It’s a job with no salary, no incentives and no respite. You’re often on call 24/7 and rarely get the opportunity to 100% switch off.

Trying to coordinate your own holiday and subsequent care for a parent while you’re away can be incredibly difficult and stressful. Is the answer as Mims Davies suggests to take your parents/grandparents on holiday with you? This might work if your parents are still relatively fit – plus you might get some time off whilst they keep an eye on the kids for an hour or two. (sssshhhh I did say that!)

Escorted holidays

grand uk holidays coach in front of norwich castle

Another option is to investigate escorted holidays and we’ve been chatting to Grand UK Holidays who specialise in escorted coach tours and river cruises especially for the mature holidaymaker. They are experts in creating perfect holidays for elderly people – from the selection of comfortable hotels and appropriate sightseeing excursions to their friendly and knowledgeable Tour Managers.

If mum or dad are still independent this is a great way of travelling with peace of mind, even for the solo traveller. In fact, if you struggle to find support when you take your own holiday, then perhaps arranging an escorted holiday for your dependant relative at the same time is the perfect solution.

For some, the idea of holidaying alone might be quite daunting and they might like you to go along with them. Don’t despair – Grand UK Holidays visit some wonderful places both in the UK and Europe and because you get lots of support you will actually have time to relax too!

Sally Hubble Button – Head of Marketing at The UK Holiday group told us

“All of the Tour Managers are highly trained and caring individuals who offer companionship and advice, as well as local knowledge throughout the holiday, to each and every one of our passengers. They are a friendly face, a happy smile and a listening ear, what’s more, they are peace of mind for you when your loved one is away on their travels.”

One of the things Age Space really loves about Grand UK Holidays is that they don’t penalise solo travellers. They never have and promise never to charge a single supplement on single bedded rooms on any of their UK mainland holidays!

Care Assisted Travel

If your elderly relative is in need of more care assistance whilst they are away then we recommend you investigate holiday companies who specialise in holidays with care packages. There are several around, such as Limitless Travel and we have lots more travel advice on the site ranging from holidays with care support, planning ahead and flying advice.

For more information on Grand UK Holidays and to see their full selection of holidays visit www.grandukholidays.com

About the author

Helen Burgess

Helen has worked in the charity sector for 20 years in fundraising and marketing roles. Prior to becoming Regional Manager for Age Space Norfolk, Helen was at Age UK Norwich and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on all aspects of elderly care.