Autumnaged Care

Why Popular Culture Is Important For All Ages: Seniors React To Songs Of The 60s

Autumnaged Care

Why Popular Culture Is Important For All Ages: Seniors React To Songs Of The 60s

Films and popular culture set in time periods of yesteryear have been popular for as long as there has been a present. As a society in general we love to look back. Fashion, music, film, theatre have all drawn inspiration from times gone by. From Forest Gump to The Notebook, Grease and plenty of films in between, audiences have loved the opportunity to be immersed in times of old, from the coiffed hairstyles to the frocks and dance halls of swing, we can’t seem to get enough.

While these films can easily be put down to ‘something the grandchild would go see’, these popular culture offerings carry with them something tremendously important, the honouring of the past. In The Notebook in particular you have a tale of enduring love, where the past of two seniors is richly explored through beautiful imagery, narrative, costume and music. There is a long way yet to go before seniors in our world can lead lives without fearing for their safety or access to basic necessities but through younger generations being educated on the times, fashion and music that our current seniors grew up with and loved, understanding, connectedness and empathy can be encouraged.

Many psychologists and experts have spoken into the triggers of discrimination and abuse that have occurred and continue to occur against vulnerable subsections in our society. In a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, academics found that there positive bonds were created when members of the ‘in’ group (stronger/majority group) were exposed to information about the lives of those in the ‘out’ group (weaker/vulnerable group).

While not absolutely conclusive, the information from this study is an encouraging one. From inviting our seniors to share their stories through modern means such as facebook and youtube, to creating popular culture items from the favourite times in their lives, much good can come about through this sharing of personhood, culture and melody. If you are in a position to play music to the seniors in your life, do so. If they like music on you can even make a playlist of songs you think they may like. Pick songs from their youth and see if it jogs their memory. Music has an incredibly powerful pull upon memory and you may even have the honour of seeing the words flood back to them and see them singing along.

We can all share films, music and the uniting atmosphere they can bring.

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