Celebrating Halloween safely at Good Samaritan Society

This year features socially distanced costume parades with residents watching

Good Samaritan Society residents in wheelchairs smile for the camera in colorful hats on Halloween.
Good Samaritan Society residents in wheelchairs smile for the camera in colorful hats on Halloween.

At Good Samaritan Society – Postville, Iowa, residents will be in for a treat this Halloween despite the current pandemic.

Paula Enyart is the community relations director and senior housing manager at the Postville center. She’s also very spirited about an upcoming celebration. It includes children stopping by for some tasty candy.

“We’ve had a lot of fun with Halloween,” Enyart says. “Not bragging at all but I probably have the most fun with it.”

The past few years, Enyart and maintenance director Rod Butikofer have dressed up as scarecrows, Sonny and Cher as well as Fiona and Shrek. She goes out of her way to do it. Enyart cares deeply about putting a smile on her residents’ faces every day.

Residents ready for trick-or-treaters

Marjorie Kruger is a skilled care resident at Postville. Kruger has a special connection with Halloween. She has a son who shares a birthday with the special occasion.

Kruger lights up when thinking about the children parading by the location’s windows this Halloween. Kids are set to arrive between 4-5 p.m. on Oct. 31.

“They are so cute. Last year we sat up here, had different headdresses on and things and had our baskets of candy. The children came with their little outfits on and marched around. We gave them candy and (they were) just the cutest little guys,” Kruger says.

This year, because of COVID-19, Kruger’s center will be having a window event because of visitor restrictions in place. Trick-or-treaters will enter a roped off area where they can walk along the windows. Staff will be outside wearing gloves and masks.

“Then we’ll pass out the candy to the trick-or-treaters while they are waiving where the residents can see them from the window,” Enyart says.

Kruger and her fellow residents will be inside enjoying all the little ones in their favorite costumes.

“We can’t give it to them but we’re looking forward to it,” Kruger says.

Halloween visitation differs based on location

Each Society location has different visitor restrictions in place based on where they’re located. Rochelle Rindels is the Vice President of Nursing and Clinical Services for the Society. She says that means Halloween festivities will be different at each location depending on state guidelines.

“Each location individually will have to make visitation recommendations based on their county positivity rate and the frequency of testing of staff and residents done at that facility,” Rindels says.

With several other holidays approaching, Rindels says she wants the residents to enjoy the all the traditions as much as possible keeping safety in mind.

“Our No. 1 priority is always resident and staff safety. With the pandemic in place and the threat of COVID, we’re even more heightened to visitors and potential spread or transmission of COVID,” Rindels says.

She adds the safety measures are in place because of the known ability for a person to have COVID-19 and be asymptomatic. Dedicated staff members are taking precautions and want you to know it’s safe to receive care and services at the Good Samaritan Society.

“The residents’ quality of life is also extremely important to us. We want them to be safe but we also want them to be able to enjoy holidays,” Rindels says.

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Posted In Community, Coronavirus, Senior Services

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