We had the good fortune of connecting with Sam Citron and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sam, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I have been producing, writing, directing and editing in the motion picture and television industry for nearly 40 years. I am an Emmy and ACE Eddie nominated film editor. In 2015, I decided to expand my entertainment operations and start booking local musicians and entertainers in Los Angeles into senior care and nursing homes. It had been an idea I had been kicking around for quite a while since, for personal and familial reasons, I have long been inspired to serve the residents of senior care and nursing homes. Frankly, the business model was terribly flawed as I discovered that most care homes have little money for live music and entertainment. In 2018, I decided to transition the live music and entertainment operations for senior care and nursing homes into a nonprofit. Senior Care Home Entertainment (SCHE) was then born with a vision and a mission to help alleviate depression and loneliness among the residents of senior care and nursing homes, a chronic issue among this vulnerable segment of our population. Medical research proves that music alleviates depression and that is the basis of our strategy of live music and entertainment battling depression and loneliness in long-term care facilities. SCHE would provide live music and entertainment at no cost to the care homes while paying the musicians and entertainers from the proceeds of fundraising. In early 2020, when the transition to nonprofit was complete and we were preparing to launch, the pandemic hit. We looked dead in the water before even getting out of the gate since there was no sending anyone into any facility, perhaps for quite a while. So, we shifted gears and decided to reach all those residents of senior care and nursing homes by creating a cost-free and commercial-free variety-style television series specifically for them. Entertaining Older Folks, or EOF, as we like to refer to it, is a one-hour show filled with music, comedy, magic, poetry, dance and so much more! Now our fundraising goes to pay the performers on EOF. We currently have 20 episodes available 24/7 on the Senior Care Home Entertainment channel on YouTube. Our episodes also run three to five times a week on LA 36 – the public, education and government channel for Los Angeles County. Additionally, among the divisions operating within our nonprofit, we maintain a volunteer telephone outreach division to reach out to all the senior care and nursing homes in California and beyond to let them know about us. We follow up the outreach with a monthly email newsletter and we maintain a presence on all social media platforms. We are still a young, struggling nonprofit, but our potential seems limitless since our programming is a television series that is available worldwide for free. We just need to keep working to get the word out.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My journey through motion pictures and television has had many ups and a few downs along the way. Working on award winning documentaries has probably been the most educational and satisfying for me personally. However, it is a combination of all the platforms that I have created for – long form and short form, documentary and narrative, that has allowed me to find the inspiration to create Entertaining Older Folks. But mostly, like many creative types, my inspiration came from my own personal life – namely my mother, who spent many years living in assisted living. Observing life in the senior care homes where she lived for so many years gave me all the information and inspiration I would need on this journey.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take people to the beach in Santa Monica, the Venice canals, drive up the coast to Malibu and beyond – head to the desert to see Joshua Tree- see a film at the New Beverly Cinema or a blockbuster at the Mann’s Chinese – catch a performance at the Hollywood Bowl, hike the Hollywood Hills – have a meal at Canter’s Deli or eat at the Farmers Market at 3rd street…
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Shoutout is to all the activities directors, administrators and staff at all the senior care and nursing homes across the country for taking care of our beloved seniors. You all are the true heroes of today.