Lip Sync Legends: Changing how we view older people
Rebecca Dillon has just joined ExtraCare as a graduate trainee. Residents at Lovat Fields Village in Milton Keynes showed her a good time with Boy George, Queen and Amy…
At the age of 23, retirement villages were not exactly at the forefront of my mind, something that is probably true for most people in my generation.
The most interaction I’d had with traditional retirement homes was what I saw in the media, which sadly and all too often focuses on abuse of the elderly, painting a bad picture of the retirement housing sector.
This was until I was asked to help out at a Lip Sync Legends event in ExtraCare’s Lovat Fields Village. I didn’t know what to expect but was thrilled when I was met with residents dressed up as various rock stars from the past 60 decades. They mimed and performed songs by the likes of Boy George, Amy Winehouse, Donna Summers and Queen, capturing each persona perfectly.
The residents taking part were full of energy and completely dedicated to their performance. Each had full hair and make-up done as well as costumes that matched their acts wonderfully. It was obvious that a lot of effort had gone into the event, but also that a lot of fun was being had by those taking part.
The residents were welcoming and friendly and very happy to share their stories with me. One man told me how he had limited mobility and couldn’t get around in his previous house struggled to get to the bathroom and couldn’t get out much. At Lovat that changed completely; now he has easy access throughout his home and can enjoy village facilities and activities. Here he was playing Tom Jones in the Lip Sync Show! It was a poignant story but showed me how getting the simple things right around the right type of home linked to social opportunity can transform someone’s life.
There was a great sense of community in the Village, something that I had never considered before.
In a way it took me back to my days at university. I realise that whatever our age or circumstances most of us want to be part of a community, learn, contribute, be heard… and why not have a good time along the way?
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