Nostalgia is a powerful emotion that can be used to benefit seniors. Studies have shown nostalgia can make a person feel physically warmer and lift the spirits of those in difficult circumstances.
Social isolation is an issue for many seniors. Even individuals in a senior living community, such as Bethesda Gardens, may struggle to connect with others. However, talking about beloved memories is a great way to start conversations and form bonds.
It's easy to get the ball rolling. Begin by making a list of favorite foods, games or shows from the past, and then trade stories with those nearby.
Music is one of the most powerful triggers for emotion and nostalgia. American Bandstand tapped into this force and captivated its audience with energetic performances of the top musical hits of the time. In addition to debuting now-famous singers, the show featured regular dancers who led viewers through steps, including the Twist and the Stroll.
Released in a decade defined by the space race and the first moon landing, Tang made a name for itself as the drink of the astronauts. After the Gemini 4 crew began flavoring their water with it in 1965, the beverage's creators decided in a clever marketing move to back a nationally televised program documenting Apollo 8's historic flight around the moon.
With gleaming coats of vibrant colors and hip model names, Schwinn Company's banana bikes launched in 1963 to an enthusiastic crowd of children. The bicycles were built with ground-breaking technology and a stylish motorcycle-style appearance that fueled their popularity.
A dessert staple since its 1966 debut, Cool Whip stirs up memories of family picnics and holiday parties for many seniors. Perfect for Jell-O salads and mud pies, the whipped-topping alternative is easy to use and store. This makes it an ideal ingredient our residents can use to prepare treats for visiting loved ones in the kitchenettes of their Arizona assisted living apartments.
At a time when VHS tapes and Apple computers were reshaping entertainment and technology, one of the most popular toys in America was a modest egg-shaped figurine that never fell over. The first set starred a family and their dog, but the toys have been transformed into hundreds of designs over the years.
Winner of four Emmys, Schoolhouse Rock offered kids in the '70s and beyond the opportunity to mix education with fun. Quick lessons in subjects such as multiplication and grammar were set to catchy tunes that children could easily sing and recall later as needed. Seniors interested in introducing their grandkids to the iconic show can find it available to stream on Disney+.
Although it was patented in 1940, the Crock-Pot didn't become a household staple until 1971. The Rival Company marketed its version of the slow cooker as an aid to the working woman, and the appliance quickly hit multimillion-dollar sales within a few years. Still widely popular today, Crock-Pots are ideal for seniors who love to cook, letting them prepare meals with little effort.
Orville Redenbacher's first television appearance in 1973 helped catapult his popcorn brand to fame. The son of popcorn farmers, a young Orville put himself through college, earning a degree in science and agriculture. He then spent years developing and testing over 30,000 hybrid varieties to achieve the delicious, fluffy kernels associated with his name.
In many ways, Ken Forsse's Teddy Ruxpin led the way to animated toys for children. The animatronic toy was a hefty plaything for its time, with faux fur and clothing hiding a built-in cassette player and several motors controlling its eyes, head and mouth. The result was a charming friend for kids that sang lullabies and told bedtime stories about a dreamlike world filled with fascinating creatures and places.
Winning an Emmy for its mesmerizing animation, Will Vinton's Claymation Christmas has become a classic for many households around the nation. Hosted by two dinosaurs who couldn't be more opposite in personality, the holiday special seamlessly transitioned between musical routines featuring beloved carols and slapstick humor that delighted young and old alike.
An iconic actor from the '80s, Mr. T has inspired generations of children and adults due to his faith and optimism in the face of hardship, including cancer. Passionate about helping children, he was often seen protecting kids as B.A. Baracus on the hit television series The A-Team. After the show's end, he went on to create a cartoon featuring kids saving the world while learning important morals.
Since McGruff's debut in 1980, he's taught citizens to fight crime alongside law enforcement officers. His message has covered home safety issues, such as locking doors, and advice on handling bullies. Once considered a child's mascot, McGruff also warns adults and seniors about the dangers of identity theft and telemarketing fraud.
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