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Getting Older Doesn't Mean You Can't 'Shake It Off'

Watch this video to see how a retirement village shatters stereotypes

By Amy Knapp

Truth be told, Taylor Swift is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. I liked her when she sang sappy country love songs and I loved her more as she broke into the pop scene. While some can't jump on board with her style of music, most can say her music videos are fun, lighthearted and entertaining. So when I noticed that a Taylor Swift music video parody created by residents of the Julia Wallace Retirement Village in New Zealand was trending, I knew I'd love it.

With the help of 80-Odd Years of Happy, a creative arts initiative of Ryman Healthcare — owner of Julia Wallace and other retirement villages and senior centers across New Zealand — the parody ofShake It Off proves that although the residents have an average age of 82 (and over 4,000 years combined), you're never too old to "shake it off." Of course the retirees' grandchildren jumped at the opportunity to help create this video and did an excellent job dancing alongside.

Growing older "isn't about slowing down — it's about having time to do so much more," says the Julia Wallace Retirement Village website.

At Next Avenue, we've published articles showing how music and dance can help change how we age — from the health benefits of playing the drums to using music as your medicine. It seems this retirement village is doing it right for its residents.

What I love about the video isn't that an entire retirement village got together to make a parody, but how this community found joy in making others smile while breaking through the stereotype of being "old."


"There are no limits on what you can achieve," says the 80-Odd Years of Happy website — and these retirees prove just that.





Amy Knapp was formerly the associate digital editor for Next Avenue. She previously was an editor for InnoVision Health Media's consumer publicationNatural Solutions Magazine.   Read More
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