Home Lifestyle 78-year-old Care Home Resident Rides In A Virtual Hot Air Balloon

78-year-old Care Home Resident Rides In A Virtual Hot Air Balloon


A 78-year-old Orpington care home resident who wanted to take to the skies in a hot air balloon has had her dreams come true with a virtual experience.

Maureen Bonner, who lives at Care UK’s Foxbridge House, on Sevenoaks Road, was thrilled when she got the chance to travel the world in a virtual hot air balloon.

The team at Foxbridge House asked if Maureen would like to add something to the home’s ‘Wishing Tree’, an initiative launched by Care UK which allows residents to suggest ideas for new hobbies they’d like to try, places they’d like to visit and activities they’d like to do.

Maureen always wanted to take a ride in a hot air balloon, but unfortunately due to a health condition has never been able to. Eager to fulfil Maureen’s wish by thinking ‘outside of the balloon’, the team got in touch with Gingerline, an immersive dining experience in London, who kindly donated two carer tickets for Maureen to attend their virtual experience going around the world.

Maureen, accompanied by a carer from Foxbridge House and her daughter, Claire, ‘took off’ from Greenwich London before heading over to Norway where she attended a Norwegian wedding and tucked into a salmon starter. Flying over Shanghai and enjoying Tahini Satay Bao, which Maureen made herself, she then had a go at creating some Chinese calligraphy.

The duo then flew to Kerala, India, for their main course, where Maureen was visited by monkeys and tigers before tucking into a traditional curry.

To finish her afternoon adventure, Maureen headed into space where she ate a dessert with tastes from all the countries she had visited.

Stella Barnes, Home Manager at Foxbridge House, said: “It was fantastic to see Maureen virtually travel around the world, embracing many more sights and sounds than she would have had in a real hot air balloon.

“It is testament to the team at Foxbridge House that we were able to make this dream come true for Maureen, as well as the incredibly kind gesture from Gingerline. We are determined to give residents the opportunity to fulfill their dreams, no matter the circumstances – and we’re thrilled this was such a success for Maureen.

“We’re already looking forward to fulfilling more of the residents’ wishes, whether up in the air or firmly on the ground!”



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