entertainment for active retirement communities
Retirement communities (AKA 55+ residence) are constantly looking for activities and fun entertainment for their
Assisted living communities normally prefer music shows or movie night but in this article, we will focus on active retirement communities AKA 55 plus communities.
“Today grandma is nothing like what she used to be 20 years ago, she is much younger”
We are in the midst of a big change due to the fact that the seniors are actually “younger” and more active than ever before.
Due to advances in modern medicine life expectancies in modern countries is about 80 years. to give you a comparison, at the beginning of the 19’s century people lived an average of 50 years!
Demographic changes indicate that the number of US residents over the age of 65 is growing fast, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of our population.
This is one of the reasons there is so much demand for active senior communities.
Why the emphasis on “Active senior communities”?
Because a 60-65 or even 75 years old person is still very active.
Most have a smartphone and a Facebook account where they keep in touch with their family and see pictures of their grandkids and are up to date in what interests them most.
Some of them, are still working, and all, want to enjoy life to the fullest.
All that means that more seniors are looking for fun quality entertainment.
They all have plenty of time on their hands, so keeping busy is high on their list. When I say busy I don’t mean only knitting and bingo, those that have good health are very active.
My own mother does Zumba and Yoga.
Many are still working part or full time. My father in law is 75 and he is driving Uber because he likes to speak with total strangers and he likes to be out and about.
What activity do seniors enjoy?
One thing they all have in common is that they all enjoy live entertainment; going to the theater, dressing up and enjoying a live concert and listening to songs that bring back the “old times”.
With that said, they also watch AGT (America got talent) and see the “new style” of entertainment and the different variety shows.
As a result, senior communities are trying to refresh the shows to appeal to the whole family bringing in also the residents relatives (that also pay for a ticket and help fund the show).
“This new approach and the fact that many communities are building state of the art theaters is allowing them to bring in better quality shows that charge more and might have more technical requirements”.
While performing in state of the art stages onboard, the really huge luxurious floating resort called cruise lines.
I had the opportunity to present my show to thousands of guests from every part of the world. almost all demographics; the younger family audience for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and NCL and a much older audience for Holland America Line (where I perform most for the past 5 years).
One thing I was surprised to discover was that (in my case) I barely had to change my show to adapt it to the different demographics and age.
Mentalism magic and other variety act, capture the wonderment in peoples minds no matter if you are 7 or 70, They all love it.
It’s kind of our basic instinct, we like it when we solve “the puzzle”, but we love/hate it, even more, when we CAN’T figure it out.
It’s called “curiosity”. That’s what makes us tick, be active and feel alive.
Both young and senior enjoy the interaction, humor, and love to participate this are moments that a person can share and enjoy with his children or grandchildren and they all be wondering, how the heck did that just happened!
The same can NOT be said with music acts!
As a result of a generational difference (age), each enjoys a different type of music, making it very difficult to find the fine line that will play well for all in a theater setting.
I also started noticing that the agents that sell shows for the senior communities got stuck in the past!
They still offer mostly “oldies” bands and cover artist that play the 50’s and 60’s, tribute acts for Frank Sinatra and Jonhy cash.
Yes, there is a market for it but the residents want also to feel younger, they want to explore and see whats new, enjoy a shows that would also attract their kids and grandkids and would be a good excuse to bring them for a visit. (not that they need one to visit grandma).
Due to that interest in exploring and the fact that communities have amazing theaters I started to get more inquiries directly from the communities.
They are looking for something “Fresh”, if you don’t believe me, believe the cruise lines.
They are the perfect indicator of whats going on in everything entertainment.
These big companies invest millions in entertainment and they first do their homework, conducting research and improve based on real data.
The fact that my act is so popular on Holland America line, the preferred cruise line for retirees, should tell you that this is what they want.
Cruises hire their acts based on passengers satisfaction and comment cards, last year I did 27 weeks (on and off), this year I had to refuse some of the work they offered me because I’m busy doing shows on land, many of them are the Florida active retirement communities.
If you live in an active 55+ community, you can go to the recreation coordinator or events and activities manager and show them the type of shows you would like to see.
If your community doesn’t count on enough budget to bring the kind of show you would like, try and coordinate with a neighboring community to bring a better act and split the costs and the venue, making it affordable for all.
Learn more about the program I offer for active senior communities. click here.