We come across special characters everyday in our work, and a recent visit to Westoe Grange care home was no different. In this post we share two heart warming stories about residents from the South Shields’ home.
Care home resident Wilhelmina, born 1909 - the year of colour film's initial public unveiling - was part of one of our reminiscence based virtual reality sessions at Westoe Grange.
Now some say that those with a few more years added to the clock may be bit more shy towards technology, but Wilhelmina was thrilled to try out one of our headsets for the first time. At the magnificent age of 107, she may just be one of the oldest people in the world to use a virtual reality headset. She was able to enjoy a virtual visit to South Shields' sea front, amongst other local places, from the comfort of her bedroom at the care home.
Although technology has come on in leaps and bounds during her lifetime, the undeniable value of reminiscing and sharing stories remains the same. And with the aid of these technological advances, we were able to enjoy a wonderful discussion with Wilhelmina about sunny school holidays spent on Little Haven Beach or the Marine Park in South Shields.
Want to make it to 107? Wilhelmina told us her trick to staying fit and healthy is eating an orange and a banana each day. We best get off to the market to stock up!
Our next story begins with a couple that caught the nation's hearts. The couple from the North East have been reunited at Westoe Grange care home in South Shields. We were lucky enough to spend some time with them to hear their story during one of our activity sessions.
Ray, 95, and Jessie, 88, have been together for over 70 years. But recently their heart-wrenching story caught the attention of the national media this past month when they were forced to live in separate care homes. Following Ray's admission to the care home, a decision was made to separate the the couple by the council. This prompted an outpouring of affection from the online community and led to over 21,000 people signing an online petition calling for the couple to be reunited.
Thankfully, Jessie has rightfully been allowed to reside at Westoe Grange with Ray and they are now sharing some well-deserved quality time together.
It was an absolute pleasure to be able to deliver one of our virtual reality reminiscence sessions to the couple. They discussed tales of walking by the Tyne Bridge on Newcastle Quayside and laughed together at Molly the Pig hanging over the gate at Beamish Museum, all sparked by the 360 degree video we have captured and shared through the goggles.
A big thanks to Gemma, the activity co-ordinator, and the rest of the team for having us.
Intrigued by our virtual reality activities? Get in touch with us now to book your free demo.