Travel SOS – cruising with a carer

Tina wants to know if there is help available onboard for her elderly mother.

Travel SOS – cruising with a carer

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.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    2nd May 2015
    Lovely thought, but working in industry of aged care and Alzheimer's, I would not recommend this at all. Perhaps try a smaller holiday like somwhere in Your state. If she has an aged care package at home they could provide a carer and ome could be with you 24/7 or they could get you carer I'm area you're travelling too if she has the funds in her package. Otherwise I'de look and ask friends who work in the area as they may know of a qualified cRer who would be happy to go on holiday and do the showering etc, and give you some respite whilst having a bit of break herself,
    2nd May 2015
    Agree lovely thought, though not practical...another option would be to travel to a familiar holiday spot with a carer for support. Familiarity is very comforting for peopke eith dementia.
    2nd May 2015
    I agree lovely thought but please ask her she would probably be happier having short trips from home at that age and with mild dementia home is where she is most comfortable. Are you doing it because you feel you should do something nice for your mum. Just love her and give her lots of attention.
    Be I
    2nd May 2015
    Hello, I am a registered nurse and complementary therapist. I have had many years of experience with ageing people . I am 68 years old and would be only to happy to take a aged person on a holiday as their carer . There would need to be a strict criteria and medical clearance prior to this travel.My husband and I have travelled very extensively and in the last few years have been on a few cruises. We always look out for the oldies travelling alone are looked after and have made some lovely friends . They really appreciate the care shown to them. Why should they miss out on a holiday because they are becoming forgetful and have some confusion.i would be happy to accompany a old contact details are available through "your Life" Becci(I have 50 years experience in Nursing")
    3rd May 2015
    As I understand it, you would like to have a holiday & take your Mum who has special needs with you. Yes biggest obsticle is going to be insurance, You could book a two room suite or attached cabins as for families. Or a disabled cabin with the 2nd one next door. Having worked in the Care industry myself with clients with ABI,, you could hire a qualified carer, depending where you live, there will be flights, maybe even hotels too. You may well be able to get a carer who will settle for a free cruise in exchange for caring duties. (The Carer will need insurance too) Which ever way you go, make sure you are fair & give the carer plenty of free time to enjoy the cruise too. Are you taking a wheelchair? actally good idea incase the ship hits rough seas. Airports & airlines are very good with the elderly & disabled. Would lifting equipment be required? The ship does not have this equipment. I believe the disability cabins have special features to accommodate wheelchairs & large shower with a stool. I believe 'Travel With Me' have special section for those needing someone to accompany them & give assistance. Their office is in Mandurah, WA. Hope this helps.
    4th May 2015
    My nephew with a disability has lots of holidays . There are companies who specialise in carer assisted holidays One such is Leisure Options. Don't know what age they go to - and yes its more expensive but you know they are professional and have done it previously.
    5th May 2015
    Yes Travel with Me - does have a section for those travellers that require medical/personal assistance travel buddies. Have you thought of doing a Murrey River cruise? Being inside Oz, less worry re insurance & medical transfers, even by medi-copter is covered by medicare. What a considerate child you are. Bless you & hope you get your cruise.

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles

    You May Like