During the peak of the coronavirus lockdowns, many people across the globe faced hardships. Newfound loneliness, unemployment, illness, and fear stretched across the world as we were overrun by a new virus we knew nothing about. Our older generations were some of the most impacted, as care facilities banned guests and grandparents were forced to quarantine from their loved ones for months at a time.
Residents at the Sydmar Lodge Care Home in Edgeware, England, knew this reality all too well. After four months in lockdown, activities manager Robert Speker knew he had to do something to keep spirits high as the boredom from a lack of entertainment and guest visitors set in. He, therefore, developed a brilliant project that allowed the staff and residents to work together — recreating classic album art covers with the residents playing the rock stars!
Speker took to Twitter to share the side-by-side photos of the original cover art and the residents’ new takes. The tweets immediately took off, surpassing 100K likes easily. Combining the healing properties of music and the social aspect of a photoshoot, Speker was able to keep his residents entertained and happy during some of the worst months of the pandemic.
“I made the suggestions of which albums and which residents best suited the look, or hade a vague similarity to the artist,” Speker explained. “Then I proposed the idea to each resident. Gladly all of them were enthused and perhaps a bit bemused by the idea, but happy to participate.”
Speker and the other staffers went all out in preparing the residents for their big photoshoots. He says he did their makeup and any necessary tattoo drawings, along with the photography and editing.
“Robert continues to astound us with his creative, and somewhat ‘out of the box’ ideas,” remarked the home’s manager, Julie Davey. Speker has been working at Sydmar Lodge since 2015 and has won an activities coordinator award in the past.
The home’s website notes that Speker “performs his activities with creativeness, ingenuity, individuality and originality” adding that he recently took a resident swimming for the first time in 20 years.
“Elderly people will remain in lockdown for a long time,” Speker explained at the time of the project, “and I want to make their time as happy and full of enjoyment and interest as possible.” The residents at Sydmar Lodge Care Home are lucky to have such a caring and considerate activities manager working to make their daily lives exciting and new. To see the rest of the residents’ photos, be sure to check out Speker’s original Twitter post!Whizzco