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There were more than 80 people sporting new 'tats' this week, as Friendship Village in Schaumburg hosted its first Booze and Tattoos event.
Residents of the senior living community had admired and perhaps even coveted body art, but mainly from a distance. When given the opportunity to get tattoos, albeit temporary ones, residents excitedly lined up.
The lifestyles team at Friendship Village is responsible for planning fun, interesting, and engaging activities for the residents. Leading up to the event, a few residents had mentioned to the team that they were increasingly intrigued by tattoos, which over the past decade or so, have grown in popularity. The staff contacted Urban Rebels Ink in Schaumburg to see if they would come to the senior living community. Owners Shaina and Ralph Jones were quick to say 'yes.'
On April 27th, a group of approximately one-half dozen professional artists and apprentices brought hundreds of designs from which the residents could choose. They also came with non-permanent/non-toxic airbrushing paint, temporary stencils and henna markers.
Residents were able to select the designs and colors they preferred. They also chose their body parts to be decorated, with their favorites including the side of their necks and forearms.
Resident Karen Johnson requested a big, bold flower on her arm, which she wanted to have prominently displayed when she attends her grandchild's wedding this weekend. She told her friends that she wouldn't wash her arm until after the wedding to ensure she could show it off.
Vicky Mason sported an elaborate, colorful skull, remembering her days as a Spanish teacher when she decorated her classroom to celebrate the Day of the Dead.
While most residents selected time-efficient airbrushed and stenciled artwork, Marge Olszewski sat patiently while the artist hand-drew an original floral design on the back of her neck.
The residents were invited to have a beer or glass of wine while they enjoyed comparing their tattoos with each other, posing for photos, and eagerly anticipating a reoccurrence of the event.
One of the residents remarked, "Events like this keep me excited and feeling young!"
"We are proud to offer more typical programs for seniors and have hundreds of activities, including games, arts and crafts, fitness, and more. But our residents are also interested in current events, technology, and trends. We seek to provide programming for typical, trending, and everything in between," said Carla Smith, Director of Lifestyles.