Watch the residents have fun in the video below.
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A lot of people simply see nursing homes as a place for old people to live in but forget that those old geezers were once like you and me, young, earnest, and full of adventure. And while these elderly people receive round-the-clock care from the nursing home staff and can enjoy the company of their fellow residents, it can get pretty tiresome seeing the same people in the same place all the time.
Which is why it was such a treat for residents at the Oaks at Northpointe in Zanesville, Ohio, when they got to experience a water slide as part of the Senior Health and Wellness Day event.
Jackie Altier, 35, the executive director of Oaks at Northpointe, said, “All the residents loved it! They said that the slip-and-slide event brought back their childhood. They said it reminded them of the good times that they used to have with their families and their kids, and when they were kids. They had a blast.”
One senior named Millie could be seen in the video being helped by a nurse as she took to the slide. According to Altier, out of the facility’s 98 residents, 30 of those took part in the slip-and-slide event. The youngest was 62 and Millie, at 94, was the oldest participant.
Altier said of Millie, “She went down the slide three times! She loved it. I have three different videos of Millie on the slide and as she’s coming down she’s yelling, ‘I love it! I love this!’ She said …. the only thing she’d change is she wanted to go down the whole hill, but we could only go down half of it.”
It’s no surprise that Millie enjoyed it so much because the event was her idea. After a sledding event in February, Millie described an event to the staff that they interpreted to be a water slide. Actually, Millie had meant parasailing, but that didn’t stop Millie from enjoying it to the fullest after the staff brought her vision to life.
Altier told PEOPLE, “We immediately started talking about how we could do this safely.
We went with a duck because of the head, that would provide support for the people who wouldn’t be stable in a seated position without that support.We used gait belts. We chose a location close to the curb so that way we could transfer the patient onto the duck.
“We’re completely shocked. I said, ‘Oh my gosh! Millie’s famous!’ ” Altier recalls. “One day when we were coming down the hall, [Millie] stopped me and she goes, ‘I don’t know if you know this, but I’m famous. So I’m gonna start charging for my signature.’”