Armchair travel: Take your seats… we’re going on an adventure!
The realities of ageing can make it more difficult for seniors to hit the road or hop on a plane to faraway places. While it may not always be physically possible for seniors to immerse themselves in exotic cultures, thanks to advances in technology, there is another option: bring the adventure to them! That’s where our dedicated Occupational Therapists come in. They’re always looking for interesting ways to keep Faircape Health residents stimulated and engaged. Before we look at why Armchair Travel sessions are a standard at all six of our Healthcare Centres, it’s worth understanding the role of Occupational Therapists.
Understanding Occupational Therapy
Our Occupational Therapists (OTs) are responsible for providing therapeutic activity programmes. These programmes are aimed at improving and maintaining the quality of life, as well as mental, social, psychological and physical functioning of our healthcare long-term residents. One such programme is our Pet Therapy programme within our Healthcare centres.
The OTs will assess each long-term healthcare resident to determine their abilities and needs before planning and prescribing the programmes accordingly. Modalities integrated into the programmes include multisensory and cognitive stimulation, as well as reminiscence and music therapy.
It’s hard to believe that an activity exists which encompasses all these modalities (and more)… plus, it’s free!
The benefits of Armchair Travelling
By providing a multisensory experience, Armchair Travel can show seniors the world… without leaving home!
Broadens your horizons
By introducing you to different cultures and ways of doing things, travel has a wonderful way of opening up your mind and making you more tolerant. Armchair Travel is no different.
Tip: In your presentation, try to include the fascinating ways they do things differently in the country you’re exploring.
Imagination is free
Travel, whether local or abroad, is expensive. Armchair Travel is the exception! Free and easy-to-access resources are everywhere, including travel blogs, YouTube, your local library and live webcams.
Tip: Browse our list of Resources below.
Travelling is more fun with friends. That’s why, at Faircape, we turn Armchair Travelling into a social event.
Tip: Share fun facts, encourage discussion and prepare quiz questions.
Talking about travel never fails to stir up old memories. Benefits of reminiscence therapy include developing more positive feelings and reducing stress.
Tip: Ask participants if they have any travel stories they’d like to share and if there’s a particular place they’d like to revisit with their new friends.
Armchair Travel tips (from our own Occupational Therapists)
- Base your Armchair Travel session on a country, landmark or theme. So far, Faircape Healthcare residents have been to Croatia, Lesotho, Free State, Greece, Ireland, India, Peru, Indonesia, North Pole, Estonia, Iceland, Netherlands, Germany, Rome, England, iconic SA Lighthouses, Norway, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Hawaii, Russia, Italy, Zimbabwe, Switzerland, Denmark, Antarctica, Durban, Hawaii, Indonesia, Kruger National Park, Llandudno, Oudtshoorn, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sutherland, the 7 Wonders of the World
- Send invites to get people excited
- Do your research and be prepared by bookmarking YouTube videos and/or downloading documentaries, collecting images and writing up information (see Resources below for where to go)
- Engage all 5 senses by including relevant visuals, sounds, scents, food and textures. For example, make decorations, serve food and play music