Tina would love to take her 92-year-old mum, who has mild dementia, on a cruise, but wonders if there would be carers available onboard to assist her?
Q. My mum is 92 years old and has mild dementia but is still very aware of her environment. I am wondering if there are any cruises that have carers onboard. She would need help getting dressed in the morning and at night and a carer to be on call if needed. The morning routine would either involve a shower or at least a hygiene check. I would need a two-bedroom cabin. Does such a thing exist?
A. Unfortunately, there is presently no such service offered on any cruise lines. We spoke with P&O Cruises who suggested that you may want to look at taking a carer with you, such as another family member or hiring a travelling companion with some experience in aged care or more specifically with dementia patients.
Our cruise expert Jo Hall also confirmed this service is not available. She advised that for safety reasons, your mum would need to have someone with her at all times. So, again, the best option would be to take a carer with you. Of course, this can become quite costly as you will be paying an extra fare (perhaps including meals and other incidentals) for the carer, and if it is not a friend or relative taking on the role but rather a professional carer, you will also be paying the wages for the duration of the cruise.
Another negative Jo highlighted was that you would also have problems securing insurance for your mum, which you would be highly unwise to travel without.
You are no doubt aware people with dementia can become quite distressed when in unfamiliar surroundings, so perhaps a cruise where you are travelling to different ports regularly may not be the ideal holiday option for you and your mum.
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