MISCATINE, Iowa–For National Skilled Nursing Care Week, Lutheran Living Senior Campus wanted to go all out and give their residents something to look forward to after the trials of the last year. With many residents and staff members vaccinated against COVID-19, Marketing Coordinator Kayla Bartling shared that the team at Lutheran Living decided a senior prom world provide the perfect end to a week of fun activities. “We wanted to do something special for our residents–we had seen other facilities do it, and we decided we could do it,” she explained.
For the senior prom, staff at Lutheran Living pulled out all the stops to give residents an enjoyable evening. They decorated their community room with twinkle lights and hung gold, silver, and black decorations that reflected their theme: under a starry night. At the prom, staff announced the prom king and queen (voted on by both residents and staff), and residents could enjoy tasty snacks and desserts, dance to an extensive playlist hand picked just for them, take photos on a themed background with a whimsical balloon arch above it, and socialize with other residents and staff members who they may not have seen for some time.
Before the prom started, staff members (some even coming in on their day off) helped residents get into their formal attire and do their hair and makeup. To make sure everyone had something to wear that made them feel fabulous, members of the community donated formalwear for residents to pick from if they liked. Attendees even had boutonnieres and corsages to complete their looks, provided for free from Country Lane Floral Creations in Sperry. “They were beautiful and all of them donated!” enthused Bartling.
The evening of May 14, about 70 Lutheran Living residents attended the senior prom, an excellent turnout by Bartling’s reckoning, and everyone who came seemed to enjoy themselves fully. “There were some of the biggest smiles I’ve seen in a long time,” observed Bartling. “Really, I think residents were happy to get together out of their rooms and socialize with other residents from different halls and dance.”
As for the staff members who made the event happen, Bartling believes they got every bit as much out of the event as the residents did. Bartling loved getting to see so many people who experienced such a tough year have a night just to have a good time together. She most enjoyed, “seeing how the event lit up the residents’ faces and the joy it bought them,” adding, “it was an event that could really touch your heart and it was a special, special night.”
With their first ever senior prom on the books, Bartling and others at Lutheran Living have already decided that they would like to make this dance an annual event. In the future, when COVID-19 presents less of a threat to residents, Lutheran Living would like to invite their family members and friends who live elsewhere to come join in the festivities as well.