Welcome to Showspace
24th Jan
Performing in a care home or hospital
Performing in a care home or hospital

Many entertainers feel nervous at the thought of performing in a care home or hospital. It’s difficult to know the participation level of the residents or patients you’re performing for. The types of clients that you may encounter can present a real challenge for any entertainer. Some people living within caring environments suffer from physical or mental disabilities or are visually or audibly impaired. You may get heckled, people may walk in and out in the middle of a performance or you may just get a passive response.

There is no denying that working in this kind of setting can be challenging, however it presents the perfect opportunity to develop your skills and learn to interact with any kind of audience. Also take into account the personal rewards of entertaining groups who do not necessarily have the means to leave the confines of their care home or hospital.

Georgina ShowSpace’s co-founder says:

“I once booked a Classical Harpist to entertain a group of dementia patients, the results were incredible. Dementia sufferers often find it difficult to focus their attention for long periods of time; however every single resident was mesmerized by the musician’s performance. There was such a positive reaction to her music. One lady who rarely verbally communicated got up from her chair, stood beside the harpist and sang her heart out. The resident’s response credited the performer’s ability to capture any kind of audience and communicate successfully through her medium.”

There is a high level of inactivity within care homes; though it is a problem that is slowly being addressed through government initiatives and legislation. It is recognised that providing entertainment (and therefore stimulation) within a care environment promotes independence amongst residents and patients as well as reducing challenging behaviour and stress levels. As the evidence for recreational therapy grows, so will the care industries need for entertainers.

Performing in a caring environment can potentially be a very rewarding experience.

On the money side of things, care homes usually have to work with small budgets when it comes to recreation and entertainment. However many entertainers underestimate the potential earning’s that can come from performing in care homes. For an hour’s entertainment you can expect to earn anything between £30 to £80. If you manage to secure performances in a number of care homes within your local area you can potentially earn a steady income. Plus if your rapport with the residents is good the care home will in no doubt re-book you for future performances.

Remember, within your ShowSpace profile you can add a care badge to show customers that you offer discounts to charities, hospitals and care homes.Tongue out

Tips during a performance in a care home

  • Interact with your audience; don’t be afraid to hold people’s hands or to talk to people
  • Include the residents in your performance, ask them what songs they would like to hear, lend them your props, involve them in the show
  • Include staff and visitors in your performance as this usually makes it more amusing for residents
  • You may have to take into consideration people with hearing disabilities, be sure to talk loudly and clearly, or bring a small PA system so you don’t have to shout
  • If someone heckles you, make a joke out of it
  • If someone walks out in the middle of a performance, don’t take it personally
  • After a performance go around the room and have a chat with the residents
  • There should always be a member of staff present whilst you are performing; it is not your responsibility to deal with residents if problems arise
  • Ideally to work in this kind of environment with vulnerable adults and children it is advisable to have had a C.R.B check



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