Woodland Villa residents couldn’t go to a pumpkin festival, so a pumpkin festival was brought to residents

The local community came together to help the home host its own version of Pumpkinferno

When an outbreak at Woodland Villa prevented residents of the Long Sault, Ont. long-term care home from taking a much-anticipated trip to see hand-carved pumpkins on display at a Halloween festival, family members, staff and the local community came together to bring a festival to residents.

Residents had been looking forward to attending Pumpkinferno, an annual festival at Upper Canada Village with more than 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins on display, so they were saddened to learn they wouldn’t be able to make it this year.

Then a family member had an idea to host a similar event at Woodland Villa so residents wouldn’t miss out. And that’s how the “Woodland Villa Inferno” was born, says Lisa Doran, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

The Woodland Villa team reached out to the community for support and got a “tremendous” response, Lisa says.

Generous local farmers donated 168 pumpkins. Local elementary and high-school students joined family members, staff and residents to help carve jack-o’-lanterns.

When the work was done, carved pumpkins and decorations adorned Woodland Villa’s two new courtyards, and about 30 residents got to see the spectacle on the evening of Oct. 28.

Residents who couldn’t make it outside still got to enjoy the view by looking out their windows onto the courtyard, Lisa says.

“We had a bunch of decorations outside and we had music playing and we brought the residents out so they got to see all the pumpkins and the decorations and get the full effect – and they absolutely loved it,” she tells The OMNIway.

“This was an amazing idea from a family member, and so we ran with it.”

Lisa says the community support the home received to make the pumpkin display possible was inspiring.

“This was the first time we have really worked with the community since COVID started,” she says. “We were really impressed with the feedback we got and with the people who wanted to help out to make this happen.”

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