Trip to Toronto’s Ripley’s Aquarium becomes a stimulating experience that brings back many fond memories
Streamway Villa residents and staff members recently spent an afternoon marvelling at sharks, jellyfish and tropical fish at the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in downtown Toronto, an experience everyone wants to repeat, says Christina Doughty.
Christina, the Cobourg long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC), says residents and staff spent 2 ½ hours on Sept. 21 visiting the aquarium’s exhibits, and every moment was enjoyable.
“A lot of residents who usually don’t participate (in activities) came on this outing, so it was kind of neat to see their reactions to the exhibits,” Christina tells The OMNIway.
Some of the exhibits residents enjoyed most were the shark tank, the jellyfish tank and the wide array of tropical fish. Christina says these exhibits created stimulation for residents of all cognitive abilities.
Some residents especially enjoyed watching the colourful tropical fish being fed, the LEC adds.
Many residents had memories of going on vacations and seeing tropical fish. One resident is a retired travel agent, and he was telling everyone about his travels with his work and seeing tropical fish while snorkeling.
Even taking a school bus to Toronto was interesting for residents, Christina says. There was a lot of memories residents had of going on school buses. One resident, who was a member of a rock band and spent a lot of time on buses, joked that he didn’t think he’d “ever be on a bus again,” Christina says.
“The memories that came with this entire day were really cool to witness and be a part of,” she says.
Christina says a highlight of the day was crawling through a tunnel with another resident to look at the fish in the glass tanks encasing the tunnel. It was the “perfect opportunity” to take selfies, she notes.
“It was the best moment,” she says. “It was my favourite part of the day.”
Christina says she recommends outings to the Ripley’s Aquarium for other long-term care homes. While it’s an expensive outing, it’s also worth the cost, given the benefits residents garner from the excursion, she says.
“I definitely suggest other homes try this out,” she says.
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