Senior citizens in Shanghai nursing home rock out in music video

(People's Daily Online) 13:59, October 14, 2021

What can you expect when your movement is restricted to a wheelchair? A group of wheelchair-bound and white-haired seniors with an average age of 91 at a social welfare home in Yangpu district, east China’s Shanghai, enjoyed some fun while dancing in a music video, expressing their positive attitude towards life in a unique way just like the younger generation.

(Photo/Shanghai Observer)

The music video entitled “Dancers in Wheelchairs” was released on the social welfare home’s WeChat and Douyin (known as TikTok overseas) accounts on Oct. 12 to celebrate the Double Ninth Festival, which falls on Oct. 14 this year as the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. The festival is an occasion to care for and send blessings to the elderly across China.

“The video will probably change people’s impression of wheelchair-bound seniors,” said Qiao Yihao, head of the welfare home.

”People are inclined to believe that seniors are no longer energetic when wheelchair-bound. We want to break that stereotype,” said Huang Rongyan, deputy director of the welfare home.

“We found that these wheelchair-bound grandpas and grandmas like music and dance, and that music is a good therapy for them, so we came up with the idea of filming a dance-music video for them,” Huang added.

The welfare home invited professionals to choreograph and do makeup before filming these seniors, whose performance surprised the staff.

(Photo/Shanghai Observer)

According to Ge Yan, a nursing staff member, these elderly residents immersed themselves in the act of dancing and enjoyed it. “The rehearsal was very soothing and they were always happy during the process,” Ge said.

Although they forgot their dance moves and needed to practice again and again, no one gave up, said Luo Xin, another nursing staff, adding that they relished in the chance to dance and they were very proud of themselves.

These seniors were excited about the filming of the music video. “I felt like I was 20 years younger after taking up a fingerboard,” said 94-year-old grandma Chen.

“I never thought of filming a music video at such an age. I also felt that my body and soul were both young when dancing,” Chen added.

Some seniors asked for more photos since it was the first time that they played the guitar.

Qiao Yihao believes that art has the power of healing for seniors with cognitive disorders and physical disabilities. “The music video is just a start,” Qiao said, noting that the welfare home will try out more art-related activities to make the elderly residents happier.

Internet users have spoken highly of the video. A netizen commented that the music video is very healing. “It seems that getting old is no longer a terrible thing,” another netizen said.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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