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Although it likely won’t bring about an overnight cultural shift, “Guess Who Died” may help give people a better idea of what getting older is all about—the good and the bad, Miller said.

For example, the show’s staff worked with The Norman Lear Center, a research and public policy center based at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, to ensure they were truthfully depicting older adults and the issues they face.

They remapped their schedule in accordance to our concerns.” Changing perceptions As more baby boomers age into senior living communities, one thing is for certain: more Americans than ever in recent history will soon come face-to-face with the realities of getting old.

And yet, as many producers continue to focus on the key 18-49 demographic, depictions of the senior living industry in television and film haven’t progressed apace.

“The setting of University Village is a character in itself.” Still, Sandlin didn’t say yes right away over concerns that a rigorous filming schedule to get in the way of the community’s day-to-day operations.

But after more phone calls and a series of in-person meetings to hammer out the details—including one with Norman Lear himself—Sandlin gave the project his blessing.

For about a week earlier this year, the University Village Thousand Oaks senior living community in Thousand, Oaks, California, had a sign out front that read “Las Esperanzado.” But the name change wasn’t the result of a hasty rebranding exercise.

Instead, the continuing care retirement community (CCRC)’s new sign was a set piece for a television pilot for NBC from legendary television writer and producer Norman Lear.

That program, as regular Cheap readers know, is aimed at low-income families with school age children.More than 80 of University Village’s roughly 500 residents acted as extras in the pilot, according to Ernie Sandlin, the CCRC’s marketing director.“The residents were absolutely tickled,” Sandlin told Senior Housing News.“I believe it’s going to shed more light on the idea that these communities are extremely vibrant,” he said. There’s still romance in a retirement community.” Lear recently returned to University Village to meet with residents and screen his new documentary, “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.” During his meet-and-greet, many of the seniors there asked him the same question: when are you going to move in?“The aging process is difficult, but I think along with that, there are many beautiful aspects to it, too. “He was welcomed as someone who’s part of the club,” Sandlin said.

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“We just felt like this was going to work,” Sandlin recalled.

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