SALEM, W.Va. – The Genesis Salem Center held its annual trick-or-treat on Halloween night.
Facility residents lined the hallways and sidewalks for the Spooky Spectacular event, which the center said is an opportunity to engage with the community. Residents created baskets of prizes filled with candy for a kids costume contest, and the center also put on children’s games.
“I have some residents who may not speak very often due to disease processes, and this is an opportunity, it’s amazing when their eyes will open, they reach out, they smile, they’re excited to hand a child a piece of candy. It’s a moment that is amazing, and it brings out an interaction you may not always see in that patient,” said Shelly Currey, recreation director at Genesis Salem Center.
The center added that about 10% of its population does not receive many visitors, and the trick-or-treat is a way for children to learn about the residents and form friendships.
“So, identifying with the different characters is great, and intergenerational activities are very important,” Currey said. “This is a great way for the community to come in, and, and for the residents to enjoy that. They absolutely light up. Residents who don’t often communicate, they may have dementia, Alzheimer’s, will light up, will reach out.”
There were plenty of snacks and treats for the kids and residents alike. Some of the games included pumpkin bowling, pin the face on the pumpkin, and pumpkin painting. For prizes there were small pumpkin buckets filled with treats, as well as games and crafts that residents put together.