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Senior home residents use pop culture to stay entertained

April 16, 2014

Retirement communities offer a range of exciting activities for residents, whether they're bringing a crowd together for a virtual sport tournament or volunteering as a group at a local nonprofit organization. While senior living homes are always searching for fun ways to engage seniors, several communities have achieved this through more creative means. 

Seniors spoof Pharrell Williams' "Happy"
Pharrell Williams' Oscar-nominated song "Happy" was the first song to spur a 24-hour music video. Instead of shooting one, comprehensive five-minute clip like most other artists, Williams used the website to showcase a myriad of different music videos of various people dancing to the song. Visitors can sift through the site's videos using the arrow keys, but they are introduced to a variety of people grooving along with the beat.

When Williams' video was released, a number of people began uploading their own versions of them dancing to the song, in settings ranging from schools to offices. One retirement community followed suit and created its own rendition of "Happy," then uploaded it to YouTube. While the clip has only been on the site since February, it has already accrued more than 9,000 views, and has received attention on local news stations and social media sites. 

German retirement home recreates iconic movies
While seniors living in the "Happy" home have seen their fair share of Internet fame, those living in a German-based retirement home received a wave of attention after publishing their 2014 calendar. The calendar for the upcoming year not only featured pictures of seniors currently living in the homes, but showcased them dressed up as some of Hollywood's most iconic fictional characters. BuzzFeed reported on the community and published a number of the images, which included one senior dressed as Audrey Hepburn from "Breakfast at Tiffany's," an older man against the traditional "James Bond" backdrop, and a couple dressed up as the classic Jack and Rose from "Titanic." 

According to a local German news agency, the calendar was only available for residents, families and staff members, but the pictures have been featured on a number of international sites, including The TODAY Show, The Huffington Post and Reddit. Seniors who got to model for the calendar ranged in age from 76 to 98 years old. The oldest participant, 98-year-old Walter Loeser, posed on a motorcycle alongside 90-year-old Kurt Neuhaus to depict a scene from "Easy Rider."