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Expert advice for stroke survivors looking to book a holiday

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As we quickly approach holiday season, SR Times speaks to an expert from disability holiday specialists Revitalise on what a stroke survivor should be aware of when booking a holiday, the services Revitalise offer and more.

Revitalise have two centres in the UK that cater for disabled adults and carers, that provide a unique experience. Revitalise state that it is “the only charity in the UK that provides a proper holiday experience combined with expert care support.”

Revitalise also provide a tailored experience for every guest, providing whatever service and needs they may require.

What should a stroke survivor be aware of when booking a holiday?

Before booking a holiday, make sure that you speak to your healthcare professionals to get their guidance on your specific medical needs and recovery progress. Look for destinations and accommodation that are wheelchair accessible or have provision for those with mobility challenges. For example, you will want to know that the hotel or rental property has accessible entrances, elevators and bathrooms. It’s a good idea to contact them directly rather than just relying on information published in the booking portals. We’ve had guests turn up at their hotel reception to find that the hoists advertised were either broken or in use. The guest ended up sleeping in a chair – not a great start to what is supposed to be a relaxing holiday. Also, consider asking for a bedroom on the ground floor or close to the amenities and let your hosts know of any specific dietary requirements.

Plan your transport to your chosen destination carefully. There are limited specialist transport operators and even those that do exist can be costly. We would advise that you book early. If traveling by public transport, check the station or termini websites or call their information hotlines to see whether they are accessible or if there are private transfers or wheelchair accessible taxis available. If flying, inform the airline in advance about any specific needs or assistance required during the journey. Talk to others about their holiday experiences whether through your local stroke group or through Facebook forums.

It’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare professional before taking a trip. If you require medications, ensure that you get a prescription for the duration of the trip well in advance. Carry medications in their original packaging and bring a copy of the prescription. It is also advisable to pack a basic first aid kit, any important medical documents, including a list of current medications and important contact numbers, such as emergency services near your destination, your healthcare provider and who should be contacted in an emergency. Put these in your phone and take a printed copy.

Consider travelling with a companion who is aware of your condition and understands your needs. Having someone who can assist in emergencies or help with daily activities will give you peace or mind and make your holiday more comfortable.

We cannot stress enough the importance of making sure that you have full  insurance coverage. Review your travel insurance policies thoroughly to understand the coverage provided in case of a medical emergency or complications related to the stroke. Ensure that the policy includes coverage for pre-existing conditions and any specific requirements arising from your health condition. A listing of travel insurance providers for people with a serious medical condition is provided on the Government’s Money Helper website.

Finally, this is your holiday, and you want to enjoy it. Everyone’s situation is unique so tailor your plans to meet your specific needs and capabilities. Plan an itinerary that allows for regular breaks and rest. It’s important that you have the opportunity to truly relax. After all that’s what holidays are all about.

How do you accommodate stroke survivors?

Revitalise offer proper holidays with full hospitality, excursions, evening live entertainment and daily activities. We’re unique in that we also provide 24-hour personalised care support. Our centres are fully accessible, with an expert team of care and nursing professionals, giving you the space to enjoy your holiday.

Are you equipped for a stroke survivor to work on their rehabilitation whilst on holiday?

All our centres are fully accessible. Bedrooms are equipped with a call system, pressure relief mattresses, profiling beds, overhead and manual hoists and ensuite accessible bathrooms.

Where are your centres located?

 

Jubilee Lodge, Grange Farm, High Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6DP

Sandpipers, Fairway, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0LA

How do you accommodate a stroke survivor’s family/carer?

Guests are free to holiday with us solo or with a companion. The companion is able to enjoy all the facilities of the centre, whether it be the hairdresser or therapeutic swimming pool, and take part in all the excursions and entertainment. They can also take a break from their carer responsibilities, our expert care team are available around the clock.

To find out more about Revitalise, click here.

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