Senior Clubbing

Spotlight / Shoot Spotlight
Thomas Barwick
Amy Lehfeldt
Apr 18, 2022
The pandemic had us worrying about the most vulnerable; among them, our parents, grandparents and those considered elderly.  We’ve worried about their mental health by being isolated and homebound but surprisingly, recent studies have shown that older adults have been psychologically resilient during this time.  In fact, most people over 50 are not lonely but fully engaged in their communities and should be portrayed that way through commercial advertising.  Our Disrupt Aging Collection, created in 2019 along with AARP perfectly aligns with this study.  It redefines what it means to get older and portrays a more authentic picture of aging.
In researching the most active senior retirement communities for this project, we learned that older adults in these 55+ resorts are living incredibly full and multi‑dimensional lives, with extended support systems that are all about belonging; some facilities boast over one hundred different clubs.  Thomas Barwick and I traveled to the greater Phoenix, Arizona area which is home to many of these sprawling facilities to capture older adults re‑entering into a vaccinated world.  For many of the people we photographed, this was their first time meeting up and seeing their friends in person after eighteen months of zoom calls and online practices.  They braved an Arizona heat wave to be part of our “Disrupt Aging” collection.  In this series, we covered a variety of clubs in which there seemed to be something for everyone ‑ from competitive swimming, basketball, and softball to more slow‑paced games like lawn bowling and golf to specialized groups of antique car collectors, pompom squads, and jazz troupes. These seniors are proof retirement isn’t necessarily about slowing down!
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