Being locked down during the coronavirus quarantine hasn’t been fun for anyone. But the residents of Sydmar Lodge Care Home in Edgware, England, leveled up their entertainment in a fun and unique way that is also being used for good. The home’s activities coordinator, Robert Speker, had the idea to do photoshoots of classic album covers, using the home’s residents as stars. Albums featured so far include hits from Adele, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Queen, David Bowie, Elvis, and more.
The effort isn’t just for fun, however. Speker also launched a GoFundMe page to ask people who enjoy the project to donate. Proceeds from the page will be split between charities that work with Alzheimer’s, dementia and aging.
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. — Robert Speker, Sydmar Care Home activities coordinator
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
The Frontlines: Residents of the nursing home have been locked down since March 12 and Speker has been in charge of keeping them occupied. He told CNN that he’s had the idea for the photoshoot for some time and the pandemic seemed to offer the right opportunity. But more than just fun, Speker and the residents also want the effort to draw attention to living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia is not a normal part of aging, according to the World Health Organization. It is caused by a variety of brain illnesses and should be reason to consult with a medical professional
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of cases
With a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, early treatment is key in helping to preserve daily function over time. The disease cannot be stopped but interventions can help patients preserve memory and cognitive abilities
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include memory loss, confusion, wandering, trouble handling money or paying bills, repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, and personality and behavior changes, among others
A Mighty Voice: Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can feel like a lonely road. Our contributor, Laury Jeanneret, speaks to one thing the disease cannot take away. “Some things are outside of our cognition — even when memory fails, selfhood remains. That same independent spirit that my mother had when she was well, also manifested in dementia. In the way she marched around the nursing home, in the way she would get cross when the nurses tried to give her personal care, and in the way she would nurse baby dolls with such care and attention.” You can submit your first-person story, too.
From Our Community:
Add Your Voice: Join The Mighty’s Navigating Alzheimer’s Together group by downloading our app or comment below.
Other things to know: A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be frightening and overwhelming. But there is great research happening and many people living with the disease to learn from. Read up on some of the things going on in the world of Alzheimer’s research and support:
How to take action: To view all of the home’s album recreations visit Speker’s Facebook post here. If you’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and are interested in entering into a clinical trial, visit the National Institute on Aging’s Clinical Trials Finder.