COLUMBIA, N.C. (WITN) – Cruise companies like the Royal Caribbean and Carnival have canceled cruises around the world. The travel industry has taken a big hit because of the coronavirus.
And since the Centers for Disease Control says seniors are one of the most vulnerable groups for the virus, one assisted living facility in the East decided to bring the vacation to them.
Columbia’s Tyrrell House has been getting a lot of attention online lately, too, for their photos.
Their activities director captures and posts their virtual vacations weekly and crops the residents into photos, allowing them to travel the world—all from one building.
The tourists have gone to the Bahamas, Jamaica, The Kentucky Derby, Costa Rica, Mexico, Disney World, and more.
Check out the photo below:
Virginia Voliba, 97, says she’s not afraid to get around.
“I enjoy every bit of it because I do it all,” Voliba said.
Candiance Scarborough, 67, says it’s been hard being cooped up all the time. Visitation is limited and strict there.
The CDC says as you get older, your risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases. It’s all as a safety precaution.
Scarborough says she hasn’t been home since Mother’s Day.
“It’s been terrible,” Scarborough said, “I stress bad. I miss my family.”
So, to cheer them up, their activities director, Bradley Cole Yates, had an idea.
“I was supposed to actually be on a cruise the week of our virtual cruise. And because of COVID, we could not go on the cruise,” Yates said, “So, I decided to spend my vacation with my residents and take them on a cruise with me.”
“I wouldn’t be coming out the room if it wasn’t for him.”
And they’re elected council of residents comes up with the ideas.
“They’re my boss. I work for them,” said Yates.
And, of course, there’s the food. The tourists had margaritas in Mexico, desserts at the Kentucky Derby, along with the hats, and lobster too. They’ve invited a performer for a socially-distant serenade as well.
Voliba says she never misses it.
“I do whatever they have,” said Voliba, “I don’t miss anything. I’m not one to stay in my room.”
And their families get to see it all, knowing they’re safe.
“We’re doing just fine. They’re taking good care of us,” Scarborough said.
Every Friday, Tyrrell House has a new virtual field trip. This week, they’re going to Las Vegas.
For more fun pictures, you can check out Tyrrell House’s Facebook page here.
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