A Renaissance Fair

Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare entertain residents with food, activities and art

Activities aide Debbie Rivenburgh serves up some food at the Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare's Renaissance Fair Wednesday in the town of Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Residents of the Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare — at least for one day this week — were transported in time to a whimsical period between the European Middle Ages and modern history.

Dressed in outfits from those centuries, both residents and staff on Wednesday participated in the facility’s first-ever Renaissance Fair.

“It gets them enthused and motivated,” said center Director of Activities Nancy Murphy. “It breaks up the routine.”

Staff at the private center made the event happen for many bright-eyed senior residents, who had drawings made of themselves, were served treats and enjoyed a day under the summer sun on the facility’s courtyard and grounds.

Activities offered to residents during the Renaissance Fair included tarot card readings, a herbalist with oils, sketch artist, harpist, mini-catapults for residents to fling, seamstress, wreath toss, photo booth, art show and a live horse show. Unit Manager Alicia Opalka subjected herself to a dunk booth, and nurse Rene Mosher brought in her horse for residents to enjoy.

Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare resident Johnny Galotti, right, enjoys a horse brought in for the facility's Renaissance Fair Wednesday in the town of Johnstown. On the horse is Clinical Coordinator Suzanne Claud and holding the reins is nurse Rene Mosher, who owns the horse. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

Residents entering the event were greeted by a large orange sign advertising “Fulton Renaissance Fair 0500 — 1688.”

Murphy explained that the Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare — during the course of the year — has many activities for its residents to get them out for some fun. Past events have included a “Caribbean Cruise” at the center, she said.

“It gets everybody together,” noticed resident Jane McCarthy of Johnstown.

She was seated next to artist Carol Jordan, who was drawing a colorful caricature of resident Virginia Thompson.

Resident Wayne Gottobed said he loved the event’s atmosphere.

The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich Artist Carol Jordan (not seen) compares her drawing of Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare resident Virginia Thompson to the real thing at the nursing home's Renaissance Fair Wednesday in the town of Johnstown.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “It gets the people out of their bedrooms.”

Center Administrator Leonard Hersh was all smiles as he surveyed what was happening at the fair. He said these types of activities — for residents being uprooted for rehabilitation at facilities like his — is exactly what the doctor ordered.

“When people aren’t home and not feeling quite as good as they feel, it helps to uplift them,” Hersh said.

He praised the activities department for planning and carrying out events such as the Renaissance Fair. He also noted his facility receives “a lot of corporate support.” The facility is run by Bronx-based parent company Centers Health Care.

Centers Health Care provides health care resources for the post-acute health care continuum in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Every facility involves rehabilitation and therapy, as well as nursing home care and offer adult day care and assisted living.

The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich Harps for Healing artist Donna Adams-Profeta performs during the Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare's Renaissance Fair Wednesday at the town of Johnstown facility.

Locally, Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, a 175-bed skilled nursing facility, is located on County Highway 122 in the town of Johnstown.

Residents can request to live in a single room or share a room with another resident. Center residents have a wide range of medical support services available to them, in addition to the physical, occupational and speech therapy, on-site physician and dental services provided.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich The entrance to the Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare's Renaissance Fair is seen Wednesday.

The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich Participants relax at the Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare's Renaissance Fair Wednesday in the town of Johnstown.

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