Across Schlegel Villages, the final week of October has been a celebration of Halloween, with residents and team members soaking in the spirit and inviting young people for trick-or-treating warm-ups ahead of what is expected to be a soggy All Hallow’s Eve across the province on Oct. 31.
In anticipation of a wet night, Pinehaven Nursing Home, for example, is putting out a formal invite, suggesting families come by the Village to dry out a bit and share their enthusiasm with the residents, who always enjoy seeing the children in their costumes. The small Waterloo Village was also hosting an afternoon costume party on Halloween, soaking up as much of the festivities as possible.
While the Villages always have their doors open for the main event, many also invited the community in the Saturday before. Riverside Glen was among them and residents Joan Zinger and Sandra Doherty were there to hand out candy to the little ones, both saying it reminded them of their young days when they would trick or treat in the neighbourhoods they grew up in.
“It’s fun to watch them in their costumes,” Joan says. “They’re so cute and some of them are shy and some of them will come up and talk to you.”
“I like to give them their candy,” Sandra adds, “and they’re all very polite.” Inviting the children into The Village helps them become more comfortable around older people, she adds, which is a good thing.
“It’s good to see the meaningful connections that are built in a quick one- or two-minute conversation,” says recreation team member Cody Cowbrough, “and actually seeing people’s faces light up when they see the residents and when the residents see the children. It kind of works both ways.”
On Halloween Day, The Village at University Gates was also in the spirit, with each neighbourhood carrying on the tradition of residents and team members dressing and decorating with the same theme in mind. This year they chose famous television shows and each neighbourhood tried to outdo the others, with Gilligan’s Island, Winnie The Pooh, The Adams Family, The Price is Right, The Love Boat and Bonanza rounding out the themes.
The tradition at University Gates brings each neighbourhood together, says recreation director Sophia Heimpel, and that excitement builds throughout The Village. There’s a “cross-functional” aspect as well, she adds, “with residents and team members working together to bring a theme to life.”
This is a major theme across all Villages through the events this week, it seems, as residents and team members have fun reliving memories and making new ones together.