Residents at Accordius Health at Mooresville, NC got to visit Cozumel, New Orleans, and Key West – without ever leaving the building.
The activity director June Whaley said she planned this event in celebration of National Nursing Home Week.
Residents began their adventure with a sail-away party in the community room – turned Tropicana Room – that included live entertainment and pictures, along with a backdrop of the ocean and dolphin balloons bobbing in the background.
“Having the scene set and live music playing made the residents feel like they were really on the ship,” Whaley told Mcknight’s.
The cruise’s first stop was Cozumel. The residents crafted themed paintings, jewelry, flower arrangements and jars filled with colorful sand. A refreshment cart was sent through the facility offering the drink of the day – margaritas –to all the residents. To end the day, dinner consisted of a taco bar.
Next on the itinerary was New Orleans. At this port, a coffee social greeted the travelers in the morning. The city’s famous late-night festivities were transformed to become late-afternoon bingo.
At the final port, Key West, the dolphin balloons that said farewell to the residents were back for a beach-themed day that included a sand castle building contest in the morning and a chocolate buffet and a coffee bar in the afternoon.
After a week of traveling the world without stepping a foot out of the nursing home, the residents “docked” back home for a community barbecue. They munched on hamburgers and hotdogs, socialized with community guests and celebrated their trip with one last piñata from their time in Cozumel.
Whaley said that she wanted to create this event because a lot of the residents had never been on a cruise before. After the event was over, they gave her a weary thumbs-up, saying, “We’ve had such a good time but we’re tired.”