COVID-19 has affected everyone, but few groups have been hit as hard as the elderly. Retirement communities have been ravaged by the virus, leading most of them to enact extreme lockdowns and restrictions on all visitors. So for a group that was already suffering from loneliness and isolation, the current situation is less than ideal. But there are some people who are trying to form connections in new ways. For starters, there’s now an online pirate radio station hosted by elderly DJs with the goal of cheering up senior citizens.
That’s the type of sentence that would have made little sense pre-2020, but you read it now and think “ah yes, this is the natural evolution of things.” The station, “Radio Recliner” was started by a marketing firm that worked with an assisted living facility. The project took off from there, and they now have close to 20 DJs from various states, who record hour-long programs.
They debut a new hour-long show each day and then play previously recorded segments and songs for the rest of the day. It’s a chance for seniors to stay connected with each other and celebrate the music of a simpler time. And how can you not get behind an 88-year-old DJ who goes by “The Karaoke Cowboy”?
Songs can also be requested by friends and family members, so there’s the added touch of hearing a loved one pop up on the station to send a song your way. This is all very cool and good.
One of the project’s founders told Ad Week that “with residents spending more time than ever alone in their rooms, we wanted to find a way to help them stay connected…Radio Recliner has been a way to turn radio into a kind of social media.”
There are so many people helping older adults dealing with isolation and loneliness right now. However, the Radio Recliner may be one of the most unique projects out there – it’s a pirate radio station run strictly by retirees.📻👴 https://t.co/DbBzayILgi
— WTKR News 3 (@WTKR3) May 26, 2020
You can learn more about all 18 DJs on the station’s website.