Hosting a senior citizen prom is a great way to appreciate older adults. Attending proms helps seniors make new friends and keep isolation at bay. Although planning a prom for seniors is somewhat similar to hosting one for a high school crowd, use these six tips to tailor it to suit the needs of older adults.
1. Choose the Venue Carefully
Make sure the venue you choose fits the needs of anyone who wants to attend the prom. For instance, you should make sure the entrance is wheelchair accessible and that there is plenty of space around the dance floor for people to get around without stepping on other people’s toes. It is also important to check on the lighting. While proms tend to be dimly lit, there should be enough light available to prevent seniors from falling.
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2. Arrange for Transportation
Many seniors are not comfortable driving at night. Try to schedule the prom for early afternoon or evening hours so seniors can easily attend it. Make transportation arrangements for seniors who do not drive. For example, you could have several seniors carpool with a caregiver to get to the venue.
3. Consider the Musical Tastes of Seniors
A memorable prom should include music that is acceptable to a wide range of tastes. Remember seniors grew up in different decades than younger adults, so it’s best to stick to timeless classics. Create a playlist that alternates between fast and slow songs so everyone can enjoy dancing, and arrange for a band or DJ to handle the music.
4. Provide Other Activities
Some seniors may not be able to dance, but this doesn’t mean they should be left out of the fun. Arrange other activities by the dance floor, including tables with board games. You can also call out prizes to generate excitement.
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5. Plan a Healthy Refreshments Menu
Every prom needs a refreshments table, but you should avoid serving junk food to seniors. Although it’s acceptable to put out a few sweets, make sure you also include some healthier alternatives such as fruits and vegetables. Finger sandwiches and other small snacks also help seniors meet their nutritional needs.
6. Encourage Volunteers to Mingle
It is possible you will have a few shy and reserved seniors in the crowd. Hire a few volunteers to walk around and look for seniors who look left out. Whether the volunteers pull the seniors out onto the dance floor or engage them in small talks, having volunteers interacting with the crowd ensures everyone has a good time.
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