The covers are a brilliant way to keep residents engaged during the lockdown
Residents in care home facilities have been in lockdown for months. Unable to visit with friends and family or leave their facilities for outings, one activities director at a care home in Edgware, England, had a brilliant idea for how to keep things fun — he recreated iconic album covers using the residents as models.
Robert Speker, who works at Sydmar Lodge Care Home, wanted to find a way to keep residents happy and engaged during lockdown, which they’ve now been on for four months. So, he asked some of the residents if they’d like to participate, then did the makeup, tattoos, photography, and editing and came up with new album covers that do the originals the justice they deserve.
“I made the suggestions of which albums and which resident best suited the look, or had a vague similarity to the artist,” Speker explained on Twitter. “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 tweeted side-by-side photos of the original covers and the Sydmar Lodge residents’ new covers, and the rest, they say, is history. His brilliance quickly went viral and the world was introduced to 93-year-old Vera, who took on Adele’s famous cover. Springsteen’s iconic Born In The U.S.A. cover now became a Born in England cover with a blue-jeaned Martin Steinberg. Roma Cohen appears as David Bowie, looking every bit the part.
He also posted them on Instagram, encouraging people to share and enjoy the beauty of his residents. “A little project I did to recreate album covers with residents and carers at Sydmar Lodge Care Home. The home has been in lockdown now for 4 months,” he wrote.
Speker, who has worked at Sydmar Lodge since 2015, has won the hearts of the care home before this latest project. “Robert continues to astound us with his creative, and somewhat ‘out of the box’ ideas,” Sydmar Lodge Manager Julie Davey said on the home’s website.
“As this situation is on-going it could be months before the situation changes for them and the need to keep them happy and entertained and full of spirit has never been more crucial,” Speker wrote on a GoFundMe page he created to support the care home, calling it The Show Must Go On. “Elderly people will remain in lockdown for a long time,” he wrote, “and I want to make their time as happy and full of enjoyment and interest as possible.” He’s already raised $3100 and says the proceed will go to the Dementia Friends UK charity.