Think extreme sports aren’t for ninety-year-olds? Think again. A 92-year-old care home resident has fulfilled his wish to go skiing for the first time, just a couple of months before his 93rd birthday.
Robert Trulocke, a resident at Care UK’s Millers Grange in Witney, known to everyone as Bob, has always wanted to go skiing, describing it was a “boyhood ambition” – but thought he’d missed his chance. He was inspired to consider it again when Millers Grange team members encouraged him to pursue it as part of their ‘Wishing Tree’ initiative.
Since then the team members, working with Snozone in Milton Keynes, have gone above and beyond to make Bob’s dream come true. At this care home with a difference, residents are empowered to take up any activity they choose – from flying on a plane to enjoying a fish and chip supper, no wish is too big or small.
Having always been adventurous, Bob and his wife, Renee, went on a camping trip to Switzerland in their youth. They drove the 700-mile trip in a Mini, and stayed on the edge of a beautiful lake, in a tent that was bigger than the car. The closest Bob came to going skiing was when they decided to go up in ski lift at a nearby slope, but because it was summer, they could not ski.
At Snozone, Bob used an accessible ski, where he was in a sitting position, allowing him to have more stability on the slope. This innovative skiing method gave Bob the opportunity to try doing the Slalom – a course where the skier has to weave in and out of poles – a challenge for any beginner.
Jim Macleod, customer relations manager at Millers Grange, said: “He was a natural – it’s fantastic to see Bob finally getting the opportunity to experience his lifelong dream, especially as he’d long thought it wasn’t possible. We don’t accept that life at a care home has to be a particular way – we ensure there are no limitations to activities residents pursue and help them to lead independent, fulfilling lives, however, they choose.
“Each day at our care home is different and fun, but today was something extraordinary – Bob enjoyed his trip so much, we couldn’t get him off the slopes!”
Bob added: “It was fantastic to finally get to ski, especially as I’d given up trying to make it happen myself. I wanted to thank everyone who made it possible, particularly the team at Snozone and my friends at Millers Grange who arranged everything. I had a wonderful day that I will never forget.
“My favourite part was being able to do the Slalom, weaving in and out, and whizzing down the slope – it made me feel alive. Age doesn’t have to hold you back from your dreams, and I hope I proved that today.”
Millers Grange provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care. With 52 ensuite bedrooms, it has been designed to deliver the very best standards of care to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence. It also features space for hobby and leisure activities and includes its own cinema, hairdressing salon and café.