This October, the residents at Transitional Health Services of Kannapolis decided to spread their wings and fly the coop. During the COVID-19 pandemic, residents felt isolated because of social distancing guidelines and all measures in place to foster safety. With not many opportunities to gather with their community and go outside for relaxing and fun experiences, the staff decided to put together an activity to take the residents on extraordinary adventures across the country without leaving the care center.

Melanie Russel, Community Life Director at the care center, planned an ongoing, engaging activity for the residents involving rubber ducks. After learning about the “cruising ducks” phenomenon on cruise ships, Melanie created Transitional Health Services of Kannapolis’ very own traveling ducks.

But, what are cruising ducks? Cruising ducks are small plastic or rubber ducks that people hide on cruise ships. But there’s so much more to it! Each duck has their own personality and traits. When a duck is found, people have the choice of keeping the duck and taking them on their own personal adventures, or hiding them at a new stop. And they can’t forget about taking a picture with them to share their adventures online.

With the Transitional Health Services of Kannapolis’ traveling ducks, residents can see around their community and the country without even having to leave the care center. The staff planned this fun initiative to keep residents connected with all the fun outside the care center. From the start, they were involved in the process, helping name and create the story behind each of the over 20 ducks.

The Community Life department has put together a bulletin board where residents can check out their friends’ adventures through printed pictures posted online with the hashtag #Quackannapolis. Residents also have frequent activities around the ducks. “The activities are based on where the ducks are traveling to,” Melanie explained. “We learn about the history of the place, we eat traditional food and listen to music. And if a resident is from that area, they can talk about it, reminisce and share stories.

The residents at the care center are very excited to see their duck friends going on adventures around the country. Everyone at Transitional Health Services of Kannapolis is loving to follow their journeys. The  ducks have been to many places already: one went to a football game with one of the NFL cheerleaders for the Indianapolis Colts; others were at Asheville, NC, Denver, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, and Florida last time we checked.

Follow their adventures online by using #Quackannapolis on social media.

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