Aloha – Seniors and family enjoy ‘Luau Day’ at Tyrone Colonial Courtyard

The Tyrone Colonial Courtyard brought a taste of Hawaii to Tyrone senior residents and families Thursday evening in the form of ‘Luau Day.’ The Luau event was week long ending with a party, entertainment and decorations for residents and family to enjoy. Most everyone was sporting Hawaiian attire, such as colorfully printed shirts and even grass skirts.
A dinner was served Hawaiian style with ‘Mock’ tails, a pig roast, Hawaiian chicken, green beans almondine and a choice of dessert. The residents enjoyed the chance to see the pig with the apple in its mouth come prancing through their home in preparation for roasting.
The highlight of the evening was a Hula dance performance by Sherry Kleiser, who is a dance performer and has a dance studio located in Altoona titled ‘Dancing, Now That’s Living.’
Kleiser explained to the senior residents of Tyrone Colonial Courtyard and families how to perform varieties of the Hula and then exhibitioned those varieties. By involving the audience with music, singing and dance, everyone in attendance enjoyed a festive, Hawaiian atmosphere.
Jean Klinger, Operations Manager at Tyrone Colonial Courtyard, explained the activities for the week. “We’re having a Hawaiian Luau because we’ve decided to visit Hawaii and it’s been a week long of activities centered around traveling to Hawaii,” said Klinger. “We’ve done a lot of trivia kinds of things each day for the residents here to participate in and bring excitement.”
Klinger added, “We like to give the residents variety and challenge their brains and creativity, so we decided to visit another part of the nation.”
The Tyrone Colonial Courtyard staff quarterly has parties for the residents and their families because with the every day kind of care that is required, the families sometimes feel bogged down and the residents really don’t have time with their family members, due to responsibilities for taking care of all their health issues and concerns.
What the Colonial Courtyard staff likes to do is give the residents an opportunity to come and just enjoy an evening with their family members. That is the big reason why events like Luau Day take place.
Klinger elaborated, “We feel it’s important that the residents have something to look forward too, such as a party. Some residents don’t participate in the activities each month but at least if we have a captive audience for a meal, they come and participate and socialize with the other residents and family members.” She added, “The residents like to stick around for the entertainment when we have it, like tonight, especially events like this that are special.”
Many of the residents had family at the Luau. At least every resident had one family member in attendance and several had two or three family members participating. Klinger stated, “The residents haven’t even taken a nap yet today. They’ve been so eager to having company in their home, and that’s important to them.” She added, “The residents have been excited all day, sitting out watching the decorations go up and asking questions. It’s been fun.”
Tara Beals, a receptionist at Tyrone Colonial Courtyard, provided a different aspect towards last evenings event for the seniors and families. “It’s very stimulating for the residents. They’re a lot happier because they get to wear colorful clothing and grass skirts, which stimulates their emotions into happy thoughts.” She added, “It gets a lot of the residents who normally don’t come out of their rooms, to come out and enjoy themselves.”
For some residents at the Courtyard, Luau Day is a reminiscing kind of time because some have actually visited Hawaii, which is also important for their emotions. One such resident is John Derr, former Postmaster of Tyrone and a Pearl Harbor visitor in 1943.
“Everything’s just great,” said Derr. “It brings back memories of when I was at Pearl Harbor. I’ve been to real Luau’s where there were real grass skirts and we had ‘poi’ that you ate with your fingers.” He added, “I’m enjoying this party very much.”
The residents of the Tyrone Colonial Courtyard and their families enjoyed their trip to Hawaii and can’t wait to go back. Many faces brightened in the backdrop of the colorful and entertaining Luau evening.