Pleasant Meadow program gets residents chatting about travel

‘Armchair travel’ program is piquing the interest of some residents, bringing back fond memories for others

Pleasant Meadow Manor residents can travel around the world with the help of a program the Norwood long-term care home has created to foster discussion and help people reminisce.

The “armchair travel” program has proven to be a fun and interactive way for residents to share their knowledge of different countries and cultures, as well as learning from their peers, says life enrichment co-ordinator Chris Garden.

All it takes to run the program is a group of interested residents and videos about travel. During the program, life enrichment staff will select a travel video and watch it with residents.

As the video plays, residents will be asked if they have been to the country and encouraged to discuss the culture and scenery.

“I have this program on the calendar two or three times a week,” Chris tells The OMNIway.

Chris says one of the benefits of the program is the way it unlocks old memories for people. If the group is watching a video about Ireland, for example, there may be several residents who have been to Ireland or who have Irish ancestry.

“We would start the program by asking questions like, how many people have been to Ireland, who is from Ireland, what do you know about Ireland, and then we’ll watch the DVD,” Chris explains.

The residents are encouraged to talk about what they remember about visiting the country and about what they loved most about their visit.

Sometimes staff members bring in videos they have made while on holiday in another country. Chris says she once played a video of a trip she and her family took to Jamaica. Another staff member brought in a video they had made while in Greece.

“They really like it (when staff members bring in their travel videos) because they can recognize somebody from the video,” Chris says.

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