May 13, 2019 -- The room was decorated, the musician was ready, and the girls stood off to the side in their fancy dresses and heels. Senior Prom? No, not quite. This was the “Senior to Senior Prom” at McGregor Home, a care facility for the elderly on the border of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland. Students in Nancy Ballou’s Clinical Health Careers class had wheeled or walked between 50 and 60 residents to the party room, but it wasn’t until the performer Sam Fosh got the music started that the fun really began.
Students mingled and danced with their elderly partners, holding hands and swaying with those in wheelchairs, while Mr. Fosh introduced old-fashioned routines like swing and the cha-cha. The kids knew it was good party when one woman lifted up her walker and started swinging it over her head to the music. The high schoolers even crowned a McGregor Prom King and Queen, before serving pastries and punch.
“It was a great experience,” said Ms. Ballou, whose students are preparing to take their nursing assistant exam. While all of her graduating seniors are planning to attend college, they will also be able to work in hospitals or nursing homes while in school, so engaging with potential patients is an important skill to practice.
“The old folks loved it and the kids got good exposure to the elderly.”