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Travel specialist awards make first accreditation for ‘dementia inclusion’

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Accessible and sustainable award-winning Hoe Grange Holidays, renowned for offering wheelchair accessible holidays in the Peak District, is proud to be the first accommodation provider in the UK to be accredited as ‘Dementia Inclusive’.

The new accreditation scheme has been developed by Dr Carol Sargent, founder of Sargent Group Consulting. Carol is a specialist in inclusive tourism for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

“The accreditation scheme was inspired by my personal experience with taking both my mum Liz and my mother in law Iris away – one had vascular dementia and the other Alzheimer’s. This led to me becoming heavily involved in educating the travel and tourism sector about the dementia community.

“This scheme evaluates staff, the environment, the equipment, the activities and marketing around a venue and applies the knowledge I gained over many years,” Carol said.

Alongside her personal experience, Carol has completed a dementia design course at the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling and has taken more than 1,600 people from the dementia community on holidays throughout the UK with specialist holiday organisation MindforYou – which Carol founded.

Every three seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with dementia, and there are around 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK alone. For those people living with dementia, there are significant health and wellbeing benefits for spending quality time with loved ones and creating those moments of connection in a relaxed environment – especially while on holiday.

Carol said: “All too often holidays are something that are dropped by families living with dementia. People are told that ‘routine’ and ‘staying in your own environment’ is key to supporting their loved one with dementia.

“They can think their loved one won’t enjoy their holiday because they don’t see how they can maintain ‘routine’ when they go on holiday. Families fear something will go wrong. My aim is to change this narrative.”

At Hoe Grange Holidays, owners David and Felicity Brown have been driven by their personal experience with relatives living with dementia to create a safe and comfortable dementia-friendly holiday experience for all. Their team already had many of the attributes needed to cater for guests with dementia and implemented all of the recommendations made by Sargent Group Consulting after visiting Hoe Grange Holidays.

Felicity commented :“We think everyone deserves a holiday and know from our own personal experience the importance of creating those special moments of connection with loved ones living with dementia. That’s why we are so proud to be the first UK holiday accommodation provider to be accredited as dementia inclusive. We can’t wait to welcome more guests to our peaceful, safe and calming self-catering log cabins in the Peak District countryside.”

David and Felicity have run holiday accommodation on their farm since 2006. Originally a farm diversification project, the family have gone on to specialise in equestrian, accessible and glamping holidays with a range of eco-friendly log cabins, glamping pods and even a restored Gypsy caravan. Whilst the holiday business has expanded, they continue to farm a beef suckler herd of 75 Aberdeen Angus cross-bred animals and 70 sheep.

Their inclusive space includes log cabins with spacious, clutter free interiors decorated in calming colours. Large, easily readable stick-on door signage is available, enabling easy navigation and reducing any potential confusion. The team have also carefully curated a list of dementia-friendly places to visit nearby to help guests make the most of their holiday.

As part of their commitment to accessibility, Hoe Grange Holidays provides extra equipment to support guests with mobility or other impairments, including mobile hoists, electric profile beds, shower chairs, and more. David said: “The latest addition to enhance the experience of guests with dementia is the introduction of a dementia-friendly activity pack—a complimentary resource designed to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay for guests, their families or carers. It’s already proving a popular addition to our free bookable extras.”

This includes an easy-to-read day calendar alarm clock, memory cards designed to trigger conversations and happy reminiscences, a hand-held whiteboard for communication, and a fidget set to alleviate stress. Additionally, the pack features communication cards for days out, indoor games, puzzle books, large piece jigsaws, and colouring books for mindful relaxation.

It is hoped that more tourism destinations and venues across the UK will seek accreditation around dementia over the coming years.

* Image shows Dr Carol Sargent of Sargent Group Consulting with David and Felicity Brown of Hoe Grange Holidays in the Peak District.

For more information visit: https://www.hoegrangeholidays.co.uk/dementia-inclusive

Hoe Grange Holidays is multi award-winning and in March 2024 won two golds and one bronze in the Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby Tourism Awards – for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism; Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism; for Self Catering Accommodation of the Year.

Contact Name:
Fiona Scott
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Fiona Scott Media Consultanccy
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Contact Phone:
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Company Website:
https://sargentgroup.consulting/dementia-inclusive/
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