Childhood memories of seaside fun brought to life

Residents have been embracing their sense of adventure and reliving their childhood memories of the seaside by ‘tri-ing’ out a new way to enjoy Southsea’s promenade.

Four friends enjoyed being pedalled up and down the seafront in a specially designed trishaw this summer. The ladies were thrilled to have the wind in their hair as they ate ice creams and chatted about their memories of the coast.

The trip, which also saw the quartet tuck into fish and chips, was organised by our lifestyles team at the home, which believes fun and adventure are vital for wellbeing in older age.

“As you get older, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t still be having fun and doing things you’ve never done before, which is one of the reasons we organised this trip!” said lifestyle co-ordinator, Aneta Stranc.

“We always make time to ensure we understand all our residents’ life stories, find out what made them happy in their youth and what they enjoy now.  We knew the seaside had a special place in the hearts of all these ladies so this was a perfect way for them to take in the sea views!”

Kay Laker, 85, spent much of her life further up the coast in Worthing, and enjoyed visits to the beach as child, but had never travelled in anything like the trishaw before. “It was such a great day out,” she said.  “I love being at the sea and I miss it.  Plus, we had the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted.”

Rita Laird, 91, who was brought up near Blackpool, was a regular seaside visitor. “I love the seaside for the freshness of the air, the sun, the wind in the hair.  I’ve been to lots of places in Europe, and even as far as Egypt!”

Eighty-nine-year-old Joan Hopwood and 87-year-old Dorothy Young couldn’t resist a few verses of “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!”

“I have enjoyed the trip very much,” said Dorothy. “You could relax and just sit and enjoy the views.”

Rickshaw ride for elderly residents

Residents and carers from Queen Elizabeth Park travelled in the home’s minibus to the pier before being chauffeured along the promenade by trained ‘trishaw’ drivers from the Guildford branch of global charity Cycling Without Age, which specialises in helping older people get out and about and feel part of their local community.

The seaside trip is just one of many new adventures offered to residents in our home, which provides personalised residential, nursing, respite, dementia and end-of-life care. They have also been boating on the River Wey, tried ice skating and made visits to Birdworld in Farnham and to the Mane Chance animal Sanctuary in Compton.

Trishaw driver and organiser of the Guildford group of Cycling Without Age, Caroline Hughes added: “We LOVE providing the rides on the trishaw.  We cycle slowly to give the passengers a chance to see what’s going on and also interact with passers-by.”

Aneta is already planning more adventures on the trishaw for other residents.

“Because it’s that bit more unusual, as well as being fun for the residents, it gets people’s attention.  We often have to stop to have a chat with someone. It’s a wonderful experience and all of our residents are excited to see where we’ll go next!”

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