Last week I shared a post about a theatre visit for Parkview Care Home residents, where four residents enjoyed a trip to Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London
For people living in care homes, theatre visits are an opportunity to enjoy the magic of live performances.
If you've ever wondered whether you could take your residents to the theatre, here are some tips to make your theatre trip one that everyone wants to repeat:
A succesful theatre trip for residents, ensuring an enriching and inclusive cultural experience needs careful planning.
Choosing the Right Production: Begin by selecting a production that caters to a diverse range of interests. Musicals, comedies, and classic plays offer a variety of options. Consider the preferences and previous experiences of the residents to ensure everyone has the opportunity to have an enjoyable visit to the theatre.
Accessible Venue Selection: Before your visit check theatres have adequate accessibility features, such as ramps and elevators, to accommodate residents with varying mobility levels. Where necessary, ensure there are designated seating areas for wheelchairs and that the venue is well-equipped for a comfortable experience. Check for special performances for further inclusivity where necessary.
Ticket Logistics: If you are arranging a group visit, book tickets well in advance to secure a block of seats for the residents. Consider reaching out to the theatre staff to discuss any specific needs or accommodations. Group discounts are often available, providing a cost-effective option for care homes.
Transportation Planning: Coordinate reliable transportation to and from the theatre. Ensure that vehicles are accessible and comfortable for residents. Having a clear schedule for departure and return will help manage expectations and ensure a smooth trip.
Pre-Event Excitement: Build anticipation by discussing the upcoming theatre trip with residents. Share information about the production, its theme, and any relevant background to enhance their understanding and enjoyment of the performance.
Programmes and Assistance: Inquire about obtaining programmes for the residents before the performance, providing additional context and enhancing their engagement.
Sensory Considerations: Be mindful of sensory considerations, such as lighting and sound levels. Communicate any specific requirements to the theatre staff in advance to create a comfortable environment for residents with sensory sensitivities.
Post-Performance Discussion: Foster a sense of community by encouraging residents to share their thoughts and feelings about the performance after their visit. This post-event discussion can deepen the impact of the theatre trip and create lasting memories.
Photographic Memories: Capture the moments by taking photographss during the theatre trip. (NOT during the performance).These images can serve as cherished mementos, sparking conversations and preserving the memories of a delightful outing.
Feedback and Future Planning: Seek feedback from residents to understand their perspectives and preferences. Use this information to plan future theatre trips, ensuring an ongoing cultural enrichment program that resonates with the interests of your care home community.
A theatre trip is not just a journey to witness a performance; it's an opportunity for residents to connect with culture, share experiences, and create lasting memories. By carefully planning and considering the unique needs of residents, care homes can provide a truly enriching and enjoyable theatre experience as part of their care home activities programme.