My niece Whitney is over 40 and still dresses up on Halloween every year with a bunch of her friends to reenact the “Thriller” music video. As you may remember, Michael Jackson first aired it in December, 1983 to herald the release of his breakthrough album.
But now, an Abbington Senior Living in Mapleton, Utah, south of Salt Lake City, has been gaining global praise with a Facebook video that’s been shared over 250,000 times.
Dancing in Wheelchairs
For this fun, but somewhat scary blast from the past, many of the residents “danced” from their wheelchairs. Most wore zombie make-up. Some wore fright wigs. Quite a few staggered out of their seats towards the camera at the end of the video and howled at the moon.
But all enjoyed what has now become an annual Life Enrichment event on October 31 for the good-natured folks who live there, their families, and the staff who leads them in the choreography.
How The Residents’ Families and Staff Reacted
Lynae Peacock Malchus’s mother-in-law took part, saying, “[She] was so excited, she reminded me every day that it was coming up. The seniors here are involved in all sorts of fun activities, events, and the community. This is the best place ever!”
Nicole Wright, whose uncle’s stepmother was another dancer, added, “She looks so happy in this video. I am so glad she is in such great hands.”
A member of this senior living community’s staff exclaimed, “I cried watching this. I’m a caregiver/CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) so this means everything to me to see them happy and participating”.
About Life Enrichment Programs
We’ve seen many of our senior living community clients engage residents with a variety of activities.
Luaus with Hawaiian dancers, music and themed food has become a go-to event once a year. Antique car shows, book signings, National Police Dog Foundation visits, local comedians, Alzheimer’s and dementia seminars, audiology screenings, Veteran’s Day tributes, even art and wine events all exercise residents’ minds and bodies.
In particular, GranVida Senior Living and Memory Care in Carpinteria, CA, launched a Grandparent Buddy Program where residents bridged the generation gap by mentoring high school students. The program encouraged the teenagers to share stories with and to learn from the seniors, then implement what they learned into their studies.
So remember, when it comes to life enrichment, variety is the spice of life.
SGD is a San Francisco Bay Area advertising, marketing and branding agency specializing in the senior and boomer markets. We’ve successfully positioned, branded and rebranded companies that market to seniors, weaving traditional and online tactics to create compelling stories that drive response.
About the Author Gil Zeimer is a Creative Director / Copywriter at SGD Advertising specializing in senior / boomer, healthcare, lifestyle, financial, travel / leisure and technology brands since 1984.