Senior Communities Tap into Technology to Keep Residents Engaged

Unprecedented times are tapping the creative talents of senior living communities, and their innovation to engage residents’ sheltering-in-place will pay dividends for the future when leasing efforts resume.
An example is The Palace Coral Gables, which has launched a virtual cabaret that illustrates “the show must go on” even during a coronavirus pandemic.

To keep residents entertained and engaged, the active retirement community – with both independent and assisted living – has found a unique way to bring live entertainment to their residents. Since nonessential visitors are not permitted entry and residents no longer can gather in the community’s theater, the challenge has been offering live entertainment while making it safe.

“It’s all about using technology to make it possible,” Pamela Parker, the community’s social director. “The community’s TV channel brings virtual entertainment to residences and the shows are exclusive to The Palace. Our residents are more comfortable watching TV than sitting in front of a computer so they just tune in.” 

She has arranged for entertainers who typically appear live on stage to tape their shows from their homes. The entertainers keep up their repartee with the audience just as if they were appearing on stage at The Palace and may even ask for requests. 

“It’s no different than what is happening with many of the network shows now on TV,” said Parker. “Since the most popular requested song by Palace audiences is “New York, New York,” regardless who is appearing, the entertainer can launch into their rendition. The audience feels like someone made the request. Many of the entertainers have appeared at The Palace and can acknowledge residents’ birthdays and anniversaries as part of their performance.”

The shows are played on Wednesday and Saturday evenings for residents to watch in the privacy of their residences. 

“It’s a win-win. We’re giving our residents something special to look forward to and continuing our tradition of providing great entertainment twice a week, including a Saturday night show,” explained Parker. “The entertainers are paid, which is very important for these gig workers. We would have paid them for a live performance and they deserve to be paid. The concerts and shows will be archived so it’s well worth the investment, and we’re prepared for another crisis.” 

How is your senior living community engaging residents? We’d like to hear what you are doing and are happy to share your story on The Ehlers Group blog.

Please contact Janis Ehlers at 954-726-9228 or
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