Days Out Edinburgh Castle

Days Out And Entertainment For Your Elderly Loved One

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Days Out Edinburgh Castle

Finding the right place to take your elderly loved doesn’t have to be a challenge

 

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite places in Edinburgh and Glasgow that are accessible to older people or people with mobility issues. Many are also “dementia friendly” and can offer additional support to visitors with dementia and their companions. Don’t forget to check out our top tips for days out for loved ones with dementia.

Edinburgh Castle

Reasons We Like It:

  • Historic Environment Scotland has taken great strides in making the historic fortress accessible to people with limited mobility.
  • Blue Badge parking is available on the esplanade when booked in advance by telephone, as is the shuttle bus service which can accommodate a wheelchair if required.
  • Although you will need to be mindful of walking or pushing a wheelchair on the cobbles, particularly in wet weather, there is good access to many of the castle’s main attractions and accessible toilets, café’s and shops within the castle grounds.

 

Royal Yacht Britannia

Reasons We Like It:

  • The Royal Yacht Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years. Now berthed in Edinburgh, you can follow in the footsteps of Royalty to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.
  • Audio handset tour (head phones available).
  • There are lifts and ramps throughout the yacht so most of the tour is accessible for wheelchair users.
  • Some areas are not accessible for some electric wheelchairs, but you can borrow a regular one for free from the visitor centre.
  • The tearoom caters for special dietary requirements.
  • You can park for free at Ocean Terminal.
  • Other features include disabled toilets, audio tour handsets, sign language tablets, disabled parking and wheelchair hire.
  • Assistance dogs are welcome.
  • Full accessibility guide available.

 

The Scotch Whisky Experience

Reasons We Like It:

  • You can enjoy a 90-minute tour around a replica distillery and view the world’s largest whisky collection in a spacious complex with good wheelchair access.
  • There is a lift to all areas of the building and a wheelchair which can be borrowed free of charge.
  • The Amber Restaurant caters for dietary requirements.
  • Other features include disabled toilet, audio tour handset in 18 languages, British Sign Language and American Sign Language (coming soon).
  • Assistance dogs welcome.
  • Carers are admitted for free and concessionary rates are applied to those they are caring for.
  • Specialist assistance with planning visits – contact to arrange.
  • Full access guide and accessibility information available.

 

Glasgow Clydebank Museum

Reasons We Like It:

  • Permanent exhibitions celebrating Clydebank’s proud industrial heritage sit alongside exciting temporary galleries in a building that is fully accessible for wheelchair users.
  • The Singer Sewing Machine collection was awarded the ‘Recognised Collection of National Significance’ by Museums Galleries Scotland in 2013.
  • Our Companion Carers report that there are very helpful staff on hand, together with plenty of disabled facilities, along with a museum shop and café.

 

Kelvingrove Art Gallery

Reasons We Like It:

  • Kelvingrove is one of Glasgow’s most loved architectural jewels. It has excellent facilities and services.
  • Some members of staff have been trained in basic British Sign Language. All audio-visual presentations within the galleries can have subtitles where required.
  • There is free disabled parking and assistance dogs are welcome – they even provide water and bowls for our furry friends.
  • The museum has lifts to all floors and each floor has accessible toilets with adult changing facilities.
  • The entire gallery is wheelchair accessible. All cases and interactive displays are at an accessible height for wheelchair users.
  • Wheelchairs are available at reception for visitors to use.

 

Summerlee Museum Of Scottish Industrial Life

Reasons We Like It:

  • Sunny Coatbridge nestles between Glasgow and Edinburgh and is well worth a visit. It received a £10m overhaul in 2008 and now has an exhibition hall that is fully wheelchair accessible.
  • Visitors can take a ride on tram that is wheelchair accessible, experience a mine tour, reminisce along miners row and finish the day off with a cup of tea in the café and a look around the gift shop.
  • You can even take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the canal. You should note that only assistance dogs are permitted.

About Us

Bright Care is a family-founded business providing care and companionship to the elderly in the peaceful comfort of their own home. Get in touch to talk to our dedicated care team and discover what’s possible for those you love.  

Image © Copyright Curtis Partridge via Unsplash. Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.

Dementia Days Out

Days Out For Loved Ones With Dementia: Our Top Tips

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The thought of taking an elderly person or a person suffering from dementia doesn’t need to be daunting

Where should you go? Will they enjoy it? Will there be sufficient facilities? Is the venue accessible? These are all very valid concerns and things that should be considered when planning days out for dementia sufferers. Often the stress of planning such an outing can be off-putting enough to not attempt it in the first place. The importance and benefit of such days out however cannot be over-stated. With a little advanced planning and preparation there is no reason why you can’t plan a day out with a loved one that you will both enjoy.

1. Choose The Right Venue

A place’s suitability is of the utmost importance to ensure a successful day out. Not only must it be suitably engaging, but it should have all the facilities that will meet the practical needs of your loved one. For those in Edinburgh, we’ve made it a little easier with our dementia-friendly map. We would recommend doing research and looking for places advertised as “dementia friendly” or simply with sufficient disabled facilities that will ensure that your loved one will not have a negative experience due to accessibility issues. The internet has a wealth of information on such places, and we have compiled a short list of some of our favourites for inspiration.

If possible, you should pay a visit to the proposed venue in advance to identify any issues that may cause issues on the day e.g. is parking quite far away, is the walk too steep an incline, or is it simply too popular an attraction and the large crowds may prove to be too distressing?

If you can’t pay a visit in person, then you should give the venue a call, as many attractions will have additional services that may available to you that have not been advertised on their website, for example, they may be able to arrange for a member of staff to greet you, and arrange for a quiet table and prioritisation of your order in a café, or will be able to advise on special exhibitions or dementia friendly days that may be of interest. Some venues will offer discounts for carers, have wheelchairs that you can hire for the day or enhance your day out with hands-on experiences that aren’t widely advertised.

2. Manage Your Expectations

You should be realistic about what your day will look like and manage your expectations accordingly. Visting a museum for instance will likely be at a much slower pace than is normal for you. It is important to plan a day which is flexible and relaxed to avoid disappointment and allow enough contingency time. Remember the best part of your loved one’s day will likely be having you all to themselves for an extended period of time, as opposed to the things you see and do.

3. Go Outdoors

The typical Scottish weather may lead you to plan an indoor activity so as not to be interrupted by rain, hail or snow! However a successful day can also be outdoors. In fact nutritionist Lorraine McCreary recommends sun and fresh air as part of a healthy lifestyle. With suitable outerwear and shoes, and a Plan B in case the weather gets really bad, most people can enjoy fresh air and nature in a safe way. Activities can include guided walks around parks or woodlands, or even something a bit more adventurous…

4. Plan, Plan and Plan Some More

Ensure you have a plan A and plan B in case circumstances change on the day. Plan your journey and timings in advance, including sufficient rest stops. If possible, use a sat -nav that can re-direct you in the event of road closures or heavy traffic. If you do not have a sat-nav, the google-maps mobile phone app is an excellent resource. Make sure that the car is stocked with water and fuelled up and ready to go before you head off. Be aware of school holidays or popular events nearby so as to ensure that you will not be encountering loud, disorientating crowds.

5. Be Prepared

Think ahead as to what your loved one might want or need on the day, as well as what you will need to ensure that your day goes smoothly.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Tickets for your venue – pre-booked if possible to avoid long queues
  • Money – cash and credit card
  • Map or sat-nav for route
  • Radar key for disabled access to toilets
  • Blue Badge
  • Ample food and water
  • Identity cards/photos, for pockets
  • Regular prescription medication
  • Mobile phone (fully charged) with emergency contact numbers stored
  • Suitable footwear and a change of clothes
  • Umbrellas and rain coats or hat, gloves and scarves OR, if you are lucky, sun hats and sun tan lotion!
  • Camera/camera phone or camcorder

You should also consider your own needs, and how these will impact your loved one, for example if you need to use the bathroom facilities, can they be left on their own?  Do you have any health concerns of your own that would warrant perhaps inviting someone else along to help you?

6. Make Memories

Try to relax and enjoy the day and quality time with your loved one. If possible take pictures to keep in a memory book. Not only will it be a nice memento of a lovely day out, but it will also be a good reference to look back for inspiration for future trips to remember places that you liked.

Hopefully this guide will give you the confidence to plan a great day out for yourself and a loved one. But, if you are still unsure, why not speak to us about your Companion Carer joining in on your day out to give you a bit of support? Unsure your location is supported? Check out our locations for caring for someone with dementia.

About Us

Bright Care is a family-founded business providing care and companionship to the elderly in the peaceful comfort of their own home. Find out about our dementia care or get in touch to talk to our dedicated care team and discover what’s possible for elderly loved ones.  

DISCLAIMER: This article has been produced for guidance only and does not constitute legal advice. Copyright © 2017 Bright Care

 

Image © Copyright Bright Care 2019

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