19 June 2020
Radio Recliner is an online radio station run by residents of senior living communities across the US. Recording shows via their phones, residents can sign up for a 60 minute DJ slot. Each DJ chooses their own DJ name, picks the music and gives shoutouts to fellow residents, family members and community staff. Listeners can also send song requests and dedications to residents. Launched in May 2020, the project aims to help seniors stay connected and combat isolation amid strict social distancing measures due to COVID-19.
Across the globe, elderly people have been impacted by coronavirus – none more so than those in care homes. Yet even as governments look to Hong Kong, which as of May 2020 had recorded no care home deaths or infections, and nursing homes introduce ‘track and trace’ tech solutions, it’s important to acknowledge the bigger picture: the shielding measures implemented to keep vulnerable people safe from coronavirus have increased existing feelings of isolation. Pre-pandemic, 43% of adults aged 60 or older in the US reported feeling lonely – and that has physical and mental health consequences that will remain once visiting restrictions are lifted.
That’s why Radio Recliner, and the system of support it facilitates, is so important. Beyond building connections, it also keeps residents active and engaged, creating a micro-network of solidarity that stretches far beyond the walls of each care home. Regular readers might remember how the Night Feed connected mothers while they were awake breastfeeding and everyone else was asleep, and, more recently, how the Hotel Gaythering hosted virtual conversations on the gay experience during coronavirus with a licensed therapist.
So now, and in the future, consider how you can help vulnerable, micro communities connect and support each other. As the ongoing health crisis pushes consumers to reconsider the importance of ‘care’, it will be an increasingly important component of how they view the brands they choose to engage with. How will you offer care in the community?
The TrendWatching content team