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Memory Care Residents of The Springs at Monarch Landing in Naperville, Cruise the “Open” Sea

With a former cruise director at the helm, Prairie Place Memory Care residents embarked on a two-week cruise without ever physically pushing off from the shore.

Carlo Refugio, a resident assistant at Prairie Place, approached the life enrichment team in the Memory Care neighborhood at The Springs of Monarch Landing. “He formerly worked as a chef and activities director for a cruise line,” said Kyle Smola, assisted living manager. “He said that he knew that many of the residents formerly enjoyed traveling but are unable to do so now. So he wanted to ‘bring a cruise’ to them through a complete ‘itinerary’ of activities.” 

For the duration of the two-week cruise, every program was based on popular shipboard activities, morning, afternoon, and night. A large ship backdrop was used for photo opportunities; the first night’s Captain’s Ball was a formal event for residents, their families and staff; there were armchair travelogues, live entertainment, games, a casino night, themed meals and snacks, movies, and more. A luau/pig roast was open to families and staff as well. 

The cruise, which ‘disembarked’ from Miami, passed through the Panama Canal, Galapagos Islands, Marquesas Islands, and French Polynesia, ‘docking’ in Seattle with themed activities for every ‘port.’  

The travel adventure was enthusiastically received by all 29 of the resident ‘passengers’ as well as their families. “I received so many emails of appreciation,” said Smola. “And I’ve never seen the residents happier; never seen them with bigger smiles.”  


Monarch Landing is a Life Plan Community located on a scenic campus in Naperville, Illinois-named “one of America’s best places to live and retire” by Modern Maturity, and “the best city for early retirement” by Kiplinger. Monarch Landing offers independent living, promoting a vibrant lifestyle for active seniors.  The Springs at Monarch Landing offers memory supported assisted living, respite care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing services, thus providing complete continuing care for seniors. Monarch Landing is owned by Senior Care Development and managed by Life Care Services®. For additional information visit www.WelcomeToMonarchLanding.com or www.TheSpringsatMonarchLanding.com.