A new project uses retired radio DJs in care homes to help residents stay engaged and connected while isolated
Spotted: One thing the coronavirus pandemic has taught us is the importance of staying connected, even when we can’t be physically near other people. One initiative, Radio Recliner, is helping seniors in assisted-living facilities to stay connected even when confined to their rooms. The initiative works like a pirate radio station, where seniors are the DJs – without leaving their rooms.
Radio Recliner is an online radio station, with resident DJs recording 60-minute long shows using their phones. Each DJ chooses a handle, picks their own music, gives shout-outs to fellow residents, family members and community staff, and offers advice on coping with the pandemic. Listeners can also send in song requests and dedications to residents. The audio is then sent off to productions staffers, who handle the technical side. New shows are broadcast daily at noon, and previous segments play in rotation.
The project was launched in April by marketing firm Luckie as a way to help seniors stay optimistic during the pandemic. The company originally planned on airing shows for one month — but it has proved very popular.
Mitch Bennett, Luckie’s chief creative officer, explained that the idea behind the project was to help seniors combat social isolation and loneliness. “For this generation, radio was the original social media,” he says. “Dedicating a song to someone you love, and having them hear it along with everyone else, is a special way of connecting. It’s a great time to bring that feeling back.”
At Springwise, we have been especially happy to see innovative ideas emerge which could help seniors get through the pandemic. In addition to Radio Recliner, we have also recently covered a grocery chain with a dedicated delivery service for seniors and the increasing availability of remote access to cultural institutions.
Written By: Lisa Magloff