Australians can’t travel overseas right now, but this nursing home has found a way to take its residents around the world

Australians can’t travel overseas right now, but this nursing home has found a way to take its residents around the world
For an overseas trip, you would usually spend months planning every little detail, making sure you have got an up-to-date passport, planning your itinerary, packing appropriate clothing — and the list goes on.

Key points:

  • Residents at Princes Court Homes in Mildura have been travelling the world with their armchair travel program
  • Participants have each nominated a destination they would like to visit through online videos and themed meals
  • They have already been to Mexico, Disneyland, Crete, Ireland, London, Honolulu, Scotland and Italy

But one group of aged care residents in Mildura, Victoria has not needed to worry about any of these things.

They have been experiencing the sights, sounds and tastes of the world without having to leave home.

Since April, the residents at Princes Court Homes have explored Italy, Scotland, Honolulu, London, Ireland, Crete, Disneyland and Mexico through armchair travel sessions.

Belsey Thomas has not missed a trip.

Even the plane take-off and landing is projected on a big screen to give the residents the impression that they are on holiday.

Lifestyle coordinator Colleen Lewis is the tour guide and finds a number of interesting videos online that showcase what the locations have to offer.

The most recent trip was to Mexico and residents enjoyed Mexican fruit cake for morning tea.

A lady dressed in a poncho and sombrero serves cake to another lady

Lifestyle coordinator Colleen Lewis serves Mexican fruit cake to Barb Hayes(ABC Mildura-Swan Hill: Kellie Hollingworth)

Alice Griffiths boarded the flight with 16 other residents.

A few of the residents were scratching their heads when a pinata came out.

A lady swings a golf club to try and crack open a pinata

As part of the armchair travels to Mexico, Alice Grifith has a turn at attempting to break a pinata open.(ABC Mildura-Swan Hill: Kellie Hollingworth)

Normally you would see children dive on the lollies after a pinata was broken open at a birthday party, but the residents patiently waited to be given a chocolate bar.

“We’re a bit older, we can behave a bit better probably,” Ms Thomas said.

Dressing up for the journey

To make it a memorable occasion, staff at the aged care home wore colourful ponchos and sombreros.

Ms Lewis said the staff loved dressing up and the travellers were also provided with costumes too.

“So we made Mickey Mouse ears for Disneyland and we had Hawaiian leis.”

Ms Thomas said she hoped Switzerland was one of the next destinations they would visit.

She suggested that the air conditioning at the aged care home could be set to a chilly temperature and Swiss chocolate could be served for morning tea.

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