Rita Hayworth, eat your heart out. This week, the calendar girls (and guys) in the spotlight were the residents of Brandywine Senior Living at Fenwick Island. Brandywine has just released its 2016 calendar, with 100 percent of sales benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association.
“I’ve got to give one to my daughter,” said Rita Kilby, who appears twice in the calendar, including on Santa’s lap. She said that particular shot was easy; she only had to sit and laugh, and “I do that every day.”
This year’s theme is “A Day Without Laughter is a Day Wasted.” In candy-colored pages, seniors ride bumper cars and bikes, and splash in puddles.
“I think it’s been a good work of art,” said Kilby, who was photographed often for work publications. “I worked for the Navy, and we did this all the time.”
From the first photo shoot to the final autograph session, “The residents have, as you can see, a good time,” said Kathy Jacobs, Brandywine’s director of community relations. “It’s fun for them.”
Past calendars themes have included pin-up, black-and-white and the 1950s.
“The very first year I came up with this concept, I only had six residents willing to participate,” Jacobs said. “I think I’m up to 18 in this one.”
She praised calendar photographer R. Chris Clark (also Coastal Point’s photographer), who spends days staging and then editing the shots.
“Chris did a really good job. He really connects with the residents,” Jacobs said.
They call him a friend, not the photographer.
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia (a severe decline in metal abilities such as memory, language, focus and more). According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s website, the disease cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. One in three seniors dies with the disease or another form of dementia.
“A third of our population here is affected in some shape or form of memory care. We have two memory units in our facility … mild-to-moderate [and] moderate-to-advanced,” said Jacobs.
Even if they’re not suffering from Alzheimer’s, many seniors know someone who is.
“Over the past three years, we’ve raised $13,000 with the calendar, for the Alzheimer’s Association,” Jacobs said, including $2,300 in the first week of 2016 sales.
“The calendar is fun even if you don’t have a connection to the cause,” Jacobs said. “They’re great gifts for people. People give ’em as Christmas gifts.”
Calendars are on sale now for $20 each. Contact Kathy Jacobs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (302) 436-0808. People can write a $20 check to Alzheimer’s Association and mail it to Brandywine, and Jacobs will send them a calendar. Or email her for a web link to pay online by credit card.