MBK Senior Living’s prom at the American Leadership Academy Gilbert North in Gilbert. (Photo credit: Savanna House)

Senior prom typically is a high school tradition, but three MBK Senior Living assisted living and memory care communities in Arizona recently decided to take the “senior” part quite literally. The result was an “Under the Sea” prom that served as a stroll down memory lane for some and a rite of passage for others who lacked a high school prom experience. 

“It’s really important to give them a sense of belonging, to have something big to look forward [that] they talk about during their social times, meal times. It brings a little bit of life and excitement to every day,” Savanna House Director of Wellness Programming Kim Wood said. “A lot of the residents, we’ve learned, didn’t get to do a prom. So for some, it’s being able to do something they might have missed out on.” 

The three communities — Savanna House and Sky Ridge in Gilbert, AZ, as well as Sky Vista in Mesa, AZ — converged Jan. 27 at the American Leadership Academy Gilbert North in Gilbert for the special event. With National Honor Society students also celebrating, the docket was jam-packed, with a live band playing, Chuck Morriss and Music Memories, playing 1950s and 1960s music and other activities, nautical decorations, special drinks and hors d’oeuvres made by the communities’ own chefs adding to the theme.

The band was “very interactive,” Wood said.

With all the excitement, it was no surprise that many residents couldn’t wait to tell their loved ones about the festivities afterwards. The afternoon adventure created some memories that will last for a long time.

“It’s fun to hear them tell their families about it as well, because when they go back as an 85 or 90-year-old senior and tell their daughter they just went to prom, usually the family members do a double take,” Wood said. “We like to do fun things with them that their grandkids are going to be jealous [about].”

See the In Focus archive, and find out how to submit your photos and information for consideration, here.