In my high school's theater department, the Wednesday night before a show officially opened was always reserved for a very special occasion: Senior Night. The audience, filled with people's grandparents and busloads of residents from local assisted living apartments, was hands-down one of the most complimentary we would have during the show's run.
Live entertainment can add to resident care and should be considered a priority. Running an effective entertainment program requires knowledge of the basics.
Less than a year ago, Gary Gamponia and his benevolent bandmates broke onto the national scene with a McKnight's blog entry about the way they play concerts at nursing homes for free. Boy, is it time for an update.
Nursing home residents — especially long-term residents — deserve to have the best entertainment that money can buy. Gary Gamponia, the director of the Los Angeles-based Pay It Forward jazz band, has started to make it happen — for free. Next stop: Every major city in America.