The elderly residents and their carers turned their boring lockdown into an opportunity to have some fun with photography and raise money for a real cause.
The pandemic has locked all of us inside our homes with our loved ones. But there are some who have not been so lucky. The elderly in nursing homes have been surviving with no family visits for the past few months. These visits from their spouses, children, or grandchildren are their only ray of sunshine.
While some choose to live with the sadness, others try to make the best out of it. One man has taken charge along with all the help he can get to make the life of the elderly in a nursing home in England happier and more exciting during the lockdown. That's not it, he has turned them into celebrities!
Located in Edgware, North London, Sydmar Lodge Care Home is home to many elderly and is known for providing "a full range of activities inside and outside of the care home," as stated on their website. Robert Speker, the nursing home's activities co-ordinator, took the initiative to continue the fun and games even during this trying time, as reported by The Independent.
Robert came with a breakthrough idea of having a photoshoot and recreating album covers to which all the residents and carers agreed. Talking to CNN, he said, "I have had the idea for a while and thought the residents would really enjoy the activity." They sure did.
With Robert's photography skills, they managed to create a variety of albums of artists including Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, David Bowie, Taylor Swift, Queen, and even Elvis Presley, reported People.
He revealed that his aim through this entire activity was to show the people that contrary to popular perception, care homes can be a place full of fun and joy, not sadness. According to the manager of the nursing home, Julia Davey, Robert is “well-known locally” for his “outside of the box” fun activities, reported The Independent.
Robert shared the creative activity on Twitter and Facebook saying, "Sydmar Lodge Care Home residents and carers have been recreating classic album covers. The home has now been in lockdown for 4 months," not realizing that it was going to go viral beyond anyone had imagined.
People were amazed by the hard work of every member of the home. From the attires, poses, makeup, and even their accessories, everything was on point! They deserved the appreciation they received. Robert went on to create a GoFundMe page for the project after the overwhelming response. They successfully raised $3223 and the residents decided it to "be split between dementia friends.org.uk, Alzheimer’s.org.uk, and age Uk.org.uk."
He believed that this initiative would help increase awareness about the condition of the elderly in care homes. He wrote, "As this situation is ongoing, it could be months before the situation changes for them and the need to keep them happy entertained and full of spirit has never been more crucial."
He continued, "The residents have been in Lockdown for 4 months and it’s been my job and privilege to keep them entertained during the COVID crisis with no outside entertainers or family." Explaining his thoughts and intentions further, he added, "Elderly people will remain in lockdown for a long time, and I want to make their time as happy and full of enjoyment and interest as possible."
Talking about the strategy for the project, Robert said, "I made the suggestions of which albums and which resident best suited the look, or had a vague similarity to the artist, then I proposed the idea to each resident," reported CNN.
Sydmar Lodge Care Home residents and carers have been recreating classic album covers. The home has now been in lockdown for 4 months. pic.twitter.com/XS5YQ4f1Sw— Robert Speker (@robertspeker) July 10, 2020
Responding to Robert's creative initiative one person tweeted, “Man, every picture is so hilarious, technically breathtaking, and so moving, all at the same time! Really awesome." Another added, “These are so moving. Reminds me of my 97-year-old grandmother telling me that on the inside she was still 18. Beautiful."
Explaining the enthusiasm of the residents, Robert said, "Gladly all of them were enthused and perhaps a bit bemused by the idea, but happy to participate," reported CNN. He continued, "They loved seeing themselves and their fellow residents and were really having a good giggle over it, which was so lovely to see."