When you imagine a prom, the image that comes to mind is probably one of high school students preparing for graduation. But for the past decade or so, proms for senior citizens have become a growing phenomenon across the nation. And it’s not hard to see why.
The older we get, the more difficult it can be to make friends. But everyone requires regular social activity, not only for our emotional and physical well-being, but also to make the most of our lives. Social events like proms provide seniors an uncommon opportunity to dress up, feel special, and have a good time among new friends.
Attending Senior Citizen Proms
So what does a senior prom look like? Besides the music selection, not all that much is different than a prom for high school students. Music, dancing, and a cool theme to the party are the only essential ingredients. Like with a prom for teenagers, alcohol probably won’t be involved. Although it can be nice to indulge in a cocktail, it’s usually better to keep these social events inclusive for all ages.
Having a prom can be as simple as throwing a fun party, or as ambitious as building your community. For instance, West Orange High School has run a Senior Citizen Prom for a decade, giving young adults the opportunity to interact with local seniors. Along with free admission to a variety of school performances, this helps integrate seniors into their community — and everyone involved is the better for it.
Having fun aside, proms can be great for stimulating memories from the past. Seniors who battle with memory issues often benefit from this kind of stimulation. And people battling depression or isolation often need a little push to escape their comfort zone, which is exactly what these types of events offer!
Hosting a Prom for Older Adults
For communities that haven’t yet discovered this trend, the good news is a prom is a fairly easy type of party to throw. Senior communities typically can use their own premises, but with a small budget and a little planning, a field-trip is a great alternative.
Like with a high school prom, try and choose a theme that can bring out the feeling of a special evening. You’ll also want to choose a theme that seniors will enjoy. Hollywood, Mardi Gras, and Under the Sea are classics for a reason! And with a few themed decorations, everything else will fall into place.
While a live band is great for a successful party, all you really need is a DJ with knowledge of hits from different eras of music. To keep things interesting, set up a few types of activities that can help people to mingle. With music comes dancing, but karaoke, trivia, and similar games can add a lot of festivity to a party.
Staying Socially Active
Because social isolation can lead to depression and similar serious health risks, regular socialization can be as integral to our health as regular exercise. It doesn’t matter how old you become, making new friends and having fun is an important part of living. That means senior proms aren’t just potentially healthy; they’re an opportunity to celebrate life.
Have you ever taken part in a senior citizen prom? How did you go about setting one up? What was the theme you did and some of the decor you used? How did you determine your playlist? We’d love to hear some of your prom-planning tips in the comments below.