LifeStream Assisted Living Hosts Memorable Prom for Assisted Living Residents
Prom season is an exciting time typically reserved for high school seniors across the nation. But in Youngtown, Arizona, residents at LifeStream at Youngtown, a senior living community, enjoyed their own special “senior” prom. The event resulted from the hard work of dedicated caregivers and community members, and as news of the upcoming event grew, so did community support.
Planning the Prom
Tia Wright, director of sales and marketing at LifeStream at Youngtown, explains that the community’s caregivers came up with the idea for the event. “We have a fantastic care team and they’re always trying to show their appreciation and love for our residents,” she says. “They thought the prom would be something the residents would really enjoy, and they put it all together.”
Planning such a large event is a major undertaking, and support for the prom grew as the event started to come together. A hospice group posted about the prom on the Nextdoor app, explaining the idea behind the event and requesting donations of dresses for the residents to wear. They were quickly surprised at the community response. “It blew up from there,” says Wright. “People donated more than 100 dresses and suits. The community started donating supplies, and it was fantastic to see everyone come together and show their support.” As a result, all of the residents who attended the prom had their choice of donated items, though some opted to wear outfits they already had.
According to Wright, the greatest challenge in planning the prom was finding an appropriate space to host the event. “We didn’t realize even our independent living residents wanted to join,” she says, “so we were limited on space.” LifeStream gave residents RSVPs early on to get approximate attendee numbers, but residents who hadn’t RSVP’d in advance were still welcome to attend.
Ultimately, the prom took place in LifeStream’s assisted living building. “Going forward, we would try to use a larger community room,” says Wright.
Wright describes prom night as an evening filled with lots of dancing. The care team set up a backdrop, twinkle lights, and a red carpet. Residents voted for a Prom King and Queen, and the winners were announced during a crowning ceremony. There was also a large buffet.
About 60 residents attended the prom, and the event was ultimately a hit. “They were so excited,” says Wright. “I think that residents are still talking about it. I’m still smiling.”
The event also helped to strengthen LifeStream’s ties to the local community. “I definitely think that it made the ties stronger,” Wright explains. “I think that the community realized our care team really does care for our residents. When they showed me all the dresses that had been donated in a two-week span, I think my jaw hit the floor,” she says.
The prom garnered media coverage, with a local news station attending the event. Additionally, LifeStream posted photos from the prom on the community’s social media.
The prom is just one of many events that LifeStream hosts. “We’re always doing a bunch of different events,” says Wright. “In April, we hosted a resident appreciation barbecue. We have a luau planned in a couple of months, and we’re hoping to get out to a baseball game.”
Wright encourages other senior care facilities, who are hoping to host new, large events for residents, to move forward with their plans. “If you’re considering it, absolutely do it,” she says. “You’ll be surprised at how happy the residents are and how special they feel. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the community or different partners, like hospice partners. They loved being involved as well.”
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