Among the strollers and families with children at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Aug. 24 was a small group of nurses, caregivers and their loved ones creating memories.

Among the strollers and families with children at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Aug. 24 was a small group of nurses, caregivers and their loved ones creating memories.

Three nurses accompanied three caregivers and their respective patients to the zoo.

ViaQuest medical social worker Marti Fudge said the outing was the first of its kind for its hospice patients and was designed to give caregivers as well as patients a chance to enjoy themselves outside their residence.

Dublin-based ViaQuest serves more than 20 patients in central Ohio, Fudge said.

Staff nurses visit patients in their residences to provide care.

Patients can be those in their 90s suffering from dementia or age-related illnesses and also cancer patients in their 50s and 60s.

"We really do have a wide range of patients that we serve," Fudge said.

Hospice is all about making the most of the time one has left, said Jenny Bell, a nurse with ViaQuest.

The zoo outing provides enjoyment for both patients and families, she said.

"Hospice is just as much for the family as the patient," Bell said.

Nicholas Schneider was at the zoo with his great-grandmother, Dorothy Trimble, who is 94.

Schneider said he decided to participate in the outing because he knows he might not get too many more chances to spend time with Trimble.

"Anytime with her is, honestly, wonderful," the Columbus resident said.

Marilyn Durham said she visited the zoo to learn more about ViaQuest, which will soon begin helping her care for her husband, John. Her husband is 79 and has dementia and Parkinson's disease, and his condition is starting to deteriorate, The Columbus resident said.

"I've enjoyed being here," she said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah