Virtual train ride a trip down memory lane for Riverview seniors
Seniors in Riverview, N.B., are going on a special journey without even leaving their home.
The city of Moncton has always been known for its vast history as a railway and land transportation hub for the Maritimes, but recently, a seniors care facility in Riverview has created a new way of "travel." It's a virtual train car experience left them reminiscing about days gone by.
"I love trains myself, so this was an easy project for me," said Jamie Bernard, who is the wellness coach at Parkland Riverview. She is also the designer behind the "Parkland Express," a virtual train car experience for the seniors in her care.
"A lot of our residents don't have the opportunity to travel as much," Bernard said. "So, I thought that bringing that opportunity here for them and just having the chance to dine in the dining car and feel like they're travelling and reminiscing. It's kind of like travelling, but you're not really leaving the facility."
Complete with "windows" to watch the scenery pass by, Bernard says many of the items on display in the dining car were donated by residents and their families.
"I just put a call out to everyone and the response has been so overwhelming, as you can see we have a lot of stuff that we have accumulated," Bernard said.
The newly designed space brings back many fond memories for 93-year-old Mabel Deware, whose father was the last engineer to drive the locomotive now on display in Moncton's Centennial Park.
"I was really excited to see the memorabilia on the wall and that's the kind of hat over there hanging up that my father wore," said Deware. "As the children come along, and grandchildren come along, I say to my kids 'make sure they see grampa's engine in Centennial Park!' Because that's important to me for them to have that … to remember that."
Deware says for herself and many of the residents the railway will always hold a special place their hearts.
"Well, it takes you back you know, because those days are kind of, I won't say over, but it's not like it used to be, back then when nearly everybody in Moncton was attached to the railway somehow."
Bernard says there are still a few final touches before residents can get their tickets and climb aboard the Parkland Express for a trip down memory lane.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Eilish Bonang.