Holidays

turbo

Registered User
Aug 1, 2007
3,851
I have posted a couple of times before. My mother has booked two cruise holidays abroad alone. She becomes very confused and disoriented when away from home but is in perfect physical health. Whilst staying at our house at Christmas she had to be shown to her bedroom every night in our four bedroom house which she insisted was a holiday home and kept asking where the two dogs had come from. She insists she has a perfect memory, loves holidays and cannot see why we do not want her to go. We do not know how to prevent her from going on holiday.Any suggestions.

Turbo
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Turbo

I can understand your worry. I've been a fan of cruise holidays for a long time, but cruise ships are so big these days, and each deck looks more or less the same, so it's very easy for even people without memory problems to get lost. The last time John and I went on one, I daren't let him out of my sight for a moment. Even if she's travelling with a group like Saga, the tour manager won't be able to watch her all the time.

I don't know how you can dissuade her, could you perhaps suggest that you go abroad with her at some time? Or even a spa hotel in this country?

Has she managed to get insurance? That could be a problem if she has declared her problems, and most companies won't allow you to book without.

Sorry, I'm not much help, but I'd be worried in your place.
 

turbo

Registered User
Aug 1, 2007
3,851
Skye,Thank you for your kind reply. Both my sister and I take Mum away on holiday at least once a year each (and have done for the last few years)usually abroad but we both work full time and have families. This is not enough for Mum and this is why she has booked two more holidays even though she is in a dreadful state before, during and after any holiday. Her travel agent will not provide insurance as she is over eighty. As far as I am aware she has not booked any insurance yet. So far she has just paid a deposit for the two cruises. I am hoping that someone has experience of a similar situation. Thanks again for replying.

Turbo
 

Nell

Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
1,170
68
Australia
Dear Turbo,
The only thing I can think of is to visit your Mum's travel agent yourself and have an honest talk to him/her.

I can only imagine that others with dementia may have booked holidays previously and, possibly, the cruise company has a policy about how to manage these situations.

At least letting the agent know would allow you to get some idea of the sort of support the cruise might offer your Mum whilst she is on board. For exampole, could a stewardess (do they still call them that?) check on her well being on a regular basis. . . . ?

This is a terrible worry for you and I hope you can find a satisfactory solution.
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Nell, I don't think they'd assign a stewardess to check on one person, the stewards and stewardesses are responsible for the cabins, and it would be when she was away from the cabin that the problems would arise (sorry, they're not cabins now, they're staterooms!)

But I think it's a good idea to check with the travel agent. I'm surprised they accepted a booking without insurance, medical care and repatriation are horrendously expensive.
 

CHESS

Registered User
May 14, 2006
136
LANCS.
Dear Turbo,

From my days studying about, and working in, the travel and tourism industry, I would be very surprised if the cruise company allowed your mother to travel without adequate insurance cover. Likewise, given the nature of your mum's illness, it is highly unlikely that any company would provide cover if they were to be given all the facts. I would advise you to speak to the manager/ess of the travel agency involved. Although they do not provide cover for the over-eighties themselves, they should insist on suitable cover from elsewhere. Your mum will not be happy but, at least, it will be the travel agent that's stopping her from travelling, not you and your sister. If the travel agent omitted to tell your mum that she would require valid insurance, then I'm sure you should have no trouble in getting the deposits back.

Please let us know how you get on and the best of luck!
 

SusanB

Registered User
Jan 15, 2008
155
Hove
Hi Turbo,

My heart goes out to you. My Mum also loves holidays and has been talking seriously about booking a cruise on her own (we lost our Dad a couple of years ago). She absolutely loves holidays, as we all do, and wishes strongly to retain her independance. Going away is a part of this manifestation so in her mind I'm sure your Mum thinks that this is perfectly OK.

You must step in - sorry to sound prescriptive - but she would be at risk if she went on her own as I'm guessing that it's not just getting lost that would be the issue. The insurance point that's been raised is a good one.

Perhaps you could talk to her GP? Maybe she would respect his/her views regarding the potential danger involved?

How we got round it (I'm one of four grown up children) was to suggest that we book a holiday at a lovely hotel in the UK and that we "stagger" our time with her, ie one or two days each. This worked well last year and we are thinking of repeating the experience this year at a hotel in the Isle of Wight.

Do let us know what you think. I reckon you must be worried sick and are totally perplexed as to what to do for the best. There's a strong feeling of "oh, I mustn't tell Mum what do do because she's our Mum" that still runs through us!
 

turbo

Registered User
Aug 1, 2007
3,851
Thank you all for your replies. Apparently Mum does have travel insurance. She still refuses to cancel and insists she has no paperwork. It looks as if our only option may be to seek advice from a solicitor. It seems a bit drastic to register an EPA just to stop her going on holiday and I'm not sure it could be done by the time payment is due (mid February). We have successfully prevented her from booking cruises for the last three years. Her travel agent is very helpful but under Data Protection laws is prevented from saying much. Also there is nothing to stop her going to another travel agent if she does not get her own way. Thank you again for your support. Mum's problems seem to dominate my sleeping and waking hours.

Turbo
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
This might seem drastic but do you think it's possible that when it comes to paying the balance, she simply won't remember? I realize that this could leave her open for legal proceedings but I'm thinking that letting the chips fall where they may "may" be a way of circumventing this. If she can't follow through on this....
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,512
Kent
. Apparently Mum does have travel insurance. Turbo
I don`t want to add to your stress, but have you any idea precisely what your mother disclosed when she renewed her travel insurance.

I was unable to renew ours because of new directives regarding anti-depressants.
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
I don`t want to add to your stress, but have you any idea precisely what your mother disclosed when she renewed her travel insurance.
If she didn't disclose everything, the whole policy will be invalid, and you could still be stuck with a massive bill.

Sorry to be so gloomy, but the statistics for serious illness and death on cruise ships are terrifying -- though kept very quiet!
 

turbo

Registered User
Aug 1, 2007
3,851
Thank you Jennifer, Hazel & Sylvia for your replies.
Jennifer, I think it is very unlikely that Mum would remember to pay the final balance for her first cruise but I am assuming that her travel agent is obliged to contact her either by telephone or letter to remind her to pay the balance. She would go in straight away and pay the balance.
Sylvia & Hazel. I'm sure Mum won't have disclosed anything on her insurance form as she insists she is in perfect health. This is one of the most worrying aspects.

Turbo
 

turbo

Registered User
Aug 1, 2007
3,851
Just a quick update. Mum rang early in the morning about a week ago saying that she had decided she did not want to go on holiday on her own and would cancel the cruises. Her travel agent rang me to say she had rung to cancel and they would get the letters done. I am assuming that she had had one of her very vivid bad dreams and this is what made her to decide to cancel. Such a relief. Now I just have to sort out a UK based holiday for the two of us.

Turbo
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,512
Kent
Thank goodness for that. Probably last minute nerves set in, but whatever the reason, it must be such a relief for you. :)
 

CoJo

Registered User
Jan 29, 2008
6
Oxford
Have you thought of trying to find a travelling companion for your Mum? If you're unable to go, maybe someone else could take your place - either a neighbour or another relative? 'The Lady' magazine often has 'carers/companions' who advertise, but you would need to check their references etc. Hope you manage to find a solution.