Summers are there to be enjoyed: for relaxing, exploring and trying new things. Sadly, our new research has found it's also a time when a third of Brits feel guilty about leaving older relatives at home while going on holiday.
Anchor's research shows younger people feel it the most, with over half of those under 35 feeling bad about leaving older relatives behind when heading off on vacation.
It's only natural to be worried about older relatives living with health issues, such as dementia, but travelling with older relatives needn't be a daunting task. With careful planning, it's possible to have a stress-free holiday with all family members by your side.
Things to consider if embarking on a trip with an older relative include thinking about the best mode of travel. If the idea of flying causes worry, are there alternative modes of transport that could reduce feelings of anxiety? Ensure comfort by booking seats with extra leg room or seats that are located nearer to the toilets. Think ahead; most airports, train and coach stations provide wheelchair access and restaurants can consider dietary requirements.
It's also important to allow extra time for activities and account for more breaks than you usually would, as your older relatives may need a little extra time than you expect. Taking time can make your holiday experience more pleasurable.
Other things to consider are packing essentials - allow space for medication and additional layers, whatever the weather. For those travelling with someone living with dementia, consider packing something that's familiar to them. Something they can hold, touch, and smell during the trip which provide comfort in a disorientating environment.
For those not able to take their relatives away with them, remember that it's likely they are happy to see you enjoy yourself and wouldn't want you to feel guilty. If you're going away, embrace that time and remember to show them that they were in your thoughts - bring back a souvenir, send a postcard, or share your holiday snaps with them when you return home.
If you usually play a big part in looking after an older relative with health issues and are going on holiday, there are lots of great options for respite care that offer short-term stays for older people requiring temporary care and support. Choose the perfect respite care together - taking advantage of activities and social events which give you the chance to meet new people and try new things.
Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that Brits are suffering from a case of guilty conscience. The findings of this study correlate with Anchor's previous research which found that Brits have a disappointingly pessimistic outlook when it comes to retirement. Seventy-three per cent of people said they expected not to have a good quality of life in their 70s, dropping to just thirteen per cent when thinking about their 80s.
Of course, the reality for many older people is enormously positive. With 11.6 million people over the age of 65 now living in the UK, we're surrounded by shining examples of those living life to its fullest in older age. Take these phenomenal older athletes for instance, who have found a new lease of life competing in the sport they love.
Retirement is an opportunity for people to enjoy later life and get involved in activities and social events which provide an opportunity to meet new people and try new things. So plan ahead, speak to your relatives and enjoy the rest of this year's summer.