Ship Ahoy, Ship Ahoy!
Vera Lynn once sang “there will be love and laughter”, and this was just so for residents of Tolson Grange care home of Anchor, Dalton as they waved goodbye to the white cliffs of Dover during their virtual cruise activity event.

This unique initiative sees Anchor care homes up and down the country planning “trips” to destinations around the world, and at Tolson Grange we boarded the Tolson Ocean Breeze cruise liner and set sail for Port Andalucía in Spain.

If you can’t get to a cruise ship, we’ll bring the cruise ship to you! Stepping outside the box of traditional care, with little expense, we created a fantastic environment that not only made our imaginary voyage fun but realistic. Residents embarked the Tolson Ocean Breeze cruise liner where they were welcomed by the Captain and a silver service of sparkling wine and fresh fruit platters. We had an outside deck area in the sun kitted out with wooden benches, nautical tableware and brollies. Sounds of the ocean, sea gulls and an occasionally ships sounding their horn all added to the experience. We created a “stateroom” where residents sat next to the fireplace and sipped on fine wine. Above the fireplace was a map of the world, postcards and other holiday memorabilia which helped spark lots of memories of past holidays for our residents.
We created a sea view cabin, and of course, a dance floor area complimented by an eclectic variety of music.

As well as having a fabulous time, all the care staff learnt so much more about our residents through this imaginative experience day. Residents who we felt we already knew pretty well shared new memories of past holidays they had with friends and family and others found themselves recalling trips they hadn’t talked about for years. These special details can help positively influence future activities; we made notes in care plans and can put this new knowledge to future use during reminiscence sessions.

This magical experience really is doing what it says on the tin, ‘a trip down memory lane’
I believe we are doing things in Anchor care homes that are forward thinking and really rewarding for our residents. Family members who came along were extremely wowed by the whole experience we had put together with Jacqueline McCully, daughter of resident Anne Mullany saying “The virtual cruise was a lovely idea. The room was decorated to make it look as if we were on a ship and the staff were dressed for the occasion. With the ship's horn sounding and cocktails and nibbles, it made a nice change for Mum”

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