When living with dementia, it becomes ever more important to spend time with loved ones. But how does spending time with loved ones and others going through the same experiences as you sound?
How about spending that time aboard a week-long cruise, with a unique team of dementia experts on hand to ensure your week is memorable, as well as providing resources and tips to help those living with the condition?
It may sound like an awful lot to put together to organise, but that is exactly what Lori La Bey, Radio Host and founder of Alzheimer’s speaks, has done.
Working alongside Accessible Travel Advocate and Elite Cruises and Vacations owner Kathy Shoaf, the two of them have created a unique experience allowing those with dementia and their loved ones to enjoy a week-long cruise specially designed to help and support them.
How it started
It all started when La Bey wanted to provide an experience like no other to support those with dementia and those closest to them. She was reminded of a previous experience on a family cruise with her siblings and children, as well as her mother who had dementia at the time, and her father, who was suffering from brain cancer.
Describing that time of her life as a “beautiful experience”, she wanted to emulate that experience for others, but with a special focus on those with dementia. With Kathy Shoaf’s help, the Dementia Friendly Conference & Caribbean Cruise was created.
The cruise will allow those with dementia and their loved ones the chance to share insights with others, as well as allowing a relaxing yet fun experience to help eliminate fear and feelings of isolation so often felt by those with the condition.
“Now to be able to offer a supportive atmosphere where others understand dementia and are in the trenches side by side with one another — well it’s just beyond words”, La Bey said.
Accompanying families on the week-long cruise will be what La Bey refers to as “True Experts”, who will be onboard to provide support, as well as share their unique insights and coping strategies.
Among them includes Cyndy Luzinski, advanced practice nurse, dementia practitioner and founder of Dementia Friendly Communities of Northern Colorado, as well as Board-Certified Music Therapist and founder of Music for Wellness, Becky Watson.
Since the announcement, both Shoaf and La Bey have been astounded by the positive feedback number of inquiries to participate.
“People are excited and surprised this opportunity exists,” Shoaf said.
The team are also currently seeking sponsorships and donations to provide scholarships for families who cannot afford to attend.
Here at Dementia Caring, we are always excited to see innovative ways to support those with dementia and their families.
For those wishing to get involved, you can email Kathy Shoaf at [email protected], or contact her directly at 219-608-2002.
The first group sets sail November 11th, 2017.