Care home group launches virtual cruise experience

A care home initiative is offering an imagination-sparking virtual cruise experience for residents across its homes for the second year running. Orchard Care Homes, together with Unilever Food Solutions, launches the mealtime activity this month, which enables residents to virtually travel to places such as Hawaii or the Mediterranean, from their own lounge.

Running in homes across the UK, each home receives a Virtual Cruise kit, comprised of different elements that help bring the cruise to life. This includes a map of the world, postcards from international destinations, menu suggestions from locations such as France, India and Japan, and other travel-related paraphernalia.

The kit is designed to be an inclusive activity that can be interpreted in different ways, from menus inspired by the countries of choice to activities focusing on research and conversations around travel and cultures.

“We had such positive feedback from the homes last year that I am delighted we are doing this again,” said Andy Savage, Food & Beverage Manager for Orchard Care Homes.

“Mealtimes are a cornerstone of each day and this activity enables residents to lead on the decisions around what they would like to eat, and what they might like to try. We have seen homes really embrace the topic, with formal dinners inviting friends and family to participate, as if residents were genuinely on a cruise. It can be great fun.”

Victoria Sterling, regional account executive for Unilever Food Solutions, added: “It’s really important to us that the residents are involved in influencing this activity, and that they are having the opportunity to try new tastes and flavours. We have worked really hard with Orchard Care Homes through the tasting sessions we have held, and from these we have created suggested recipes for the Cruise.

“The homes have told us that residents have found this a great opportunity to give their opinion about food, that they have been more engaged with this activity than with many others. The Virtual Cruise has been designed to inspire, to reminisce, to spark conversations, to try something a little different – and we really look forward to virtually travelling with the stories we hear.”

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