Residents’ TikTok videos bring ‘fun and laughter’ to care home

A care home worker who has been filming residents performing to popular songs for a series of TikTok videos said it has helped to create “fun and laughter” during lockdown.

Emma Thackray, deputy manager at Anchor’s Teal Beck House, in Otley, said she started “TikTok Friday” as a way of boosting the spirits of residents, who are unable to see their loved ones due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The residents at the 50-bed home have taken part in the series of videos, dancing and acting to songs including Dolly Parton’s 9 To 5 – which has been viewed nearly 400,000 times since being posted on the social media site in September.

Ms Thackray said: “It started at the beginning of the pandemic. I felt like we needed a little bit of a boost, a little bit of fun going on.

“I’d not really done TikTok before but we did one and we all had such a brilliant time, such fun and laughter.

“They look forward to having some time out and some fun together and forgetting about what’s going on really. It’s definitely made a difference in our home anyway.”

She added: “The 9 To 5 one was the tip of the iceberg, that’s the best one we’ve done, everybody loved that one.

“It’s amazing, I cannot believe how popular it has been, I really can’t.”

The 35-year-old said the residents are sometimes “a little bit confused” when they are given directions while making the videos but they have enjoyed watching the outcome.

She said: “When we show them the end results, they really like it. They love seeing themselves, they say they’re actors.”

The West Yorkshire care home is currently under Tier 2 “high level” coronavirus restrictions, with visitors not allowed to visit residents.

Ms Thackray said: “They miss their family and friends but we’re trying to make it as normal and lovely as possible in here and I think we are.”

June Longley, 96, who has lived at Teal Beck House for a year, said TikTok Fridays were “so much fun”.

She said: “I’ve always loved a bit of Dolly and Queen so getting to dance along to them is brilliant, they’ve got some excellent music taste here.

“It’s been a really nice way to have some fun but also show my family that I am OK, having fun and being well looked after.

“They really are spoiling us here but I think we’ve all earned it.”