The Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is a non-profit organization built on the philosophy of “Giving Back To Those Who Have Given”. The Foundation’s focus is on recognizing seniors and veterans living in long-term care communities and helping them fulfill their dream of flying. MatrixCare continues to be a strong supporter of Ageless Aviation as its mission is aligned with our own mission to “improve the quality of life for America’s seniors.”
We chatted with Emily Larimer, the Director of Communication & Technology at Indiana Veterans’ Home, who held an Ageless Aviation ‘Dream Flight’ event this past August, to gain a complete picture of how the day went and why she would recommend that other facilities consider hosting their own ‘Dream Flight’ event.
How did you find out about Ageless Aviation and the opportunity to host a Dream Flights event? What made you ultimately decide to host a Dream Flights event?
I saw a social media post from MatrixCare about one of the other Dream Flight events in Wisconsin, I believe. After putting in a general inquiry with Ageless Aviation shortly after that, they determined within a day or two that they could squeeze us in about 10 days after the initial inquiry. Darryl was flying right over us between events and decided to make it happen for us.
How do you think the day went? Did anything especially exciting happen?
We were initially a bit apprehensive since we were unfamiliar with the biplanes and weren’t sure how our residents would react. Darryl and his daughter were both very, very helpful and patient with our bazillion questions. Once we got to the airport and saw our first resident take off, we knew it was going to be a special day. The entire day was an amazing experience for our guys. My favorite part of the day was the reactions from the families that were able to attend. One of our residents who participated is generally very quiet, but he piped right up and was very excited about the experience. He loved the flight and told his family all about it when he landed. His wife, son, and daughter were all there and had such a great experience with him that there were happy tears all around. Our oldest resident that participated was able to get his flight book from his military service signed by Darryl after the flight. He was thrilled.One of our residents who participated is generally very quiet, but he piped right up and was very excited about the experience. Click To Tweet
What were the residents’ overall thoughts on the experience?
We had eight residents participate. They each were happy to have participated and enjoyed the experience. A couple of them had such a great time, they’re still talking about it and showing their pictures from the day even now several months later.
Would you recommend that other facilities consider hosting a Dream Flights event?
Absolutely. Ageless Aviation was so easy to work with and they know what they’re doing. They helped walk us through what to expect and how to prepare our residents for the flights and also helped work with Purdue Aviation to handle the airport items that we aren’t familiar with here at a long-term care facility. The plane was absolutely gorgeous, and everything went very smoothly. Darryl was fantastic with our residents and staff and you can tell he genuinely has a passion for these flights and working with veterans. It was a magical day for our residents.
Thank you, MatrixCare, for sponsoring such a wonderful organization with such a unique mission. It meant the world to our participants and we’re hoping to be able to host another Dream Flights event in 2019.
Seniors can be nominated for a Dream Flight by completing an application which can be found on our website at http://www.matrixcare.com/dreamflights/
Special thanks to Emily Larimer and her team for participating in this day and being willing to provide insight on its’ activities. Find more information on Indiana Veterans’ Home’s services here: www.in.gov/ivh