In Victoria Naekel’s mind, keeping communication open between the community and skilled nursing facilities in Charlotte County is vital to the well-being of both.

“Our long-term care residents want to be a part of the community,” said Naekel, the activities director for Village Place Health & Rehabilitation Center in Port Charlotte. “People forget about them sometimes. I try to bring community to them and bring them out in the community as much as I can.”

As part of that effort, the 104-bed rehab and assisted living facility is planning its first Fall Festival from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 25, at the center, 2370 Harbor Blvd., in Port Charlotte. There is no charge to attend.

And Naekel wants the community to come out to the festival, which will feature trick or treating, crafts and a pumpkin patch for kids. Adults can enjoy hot apple cider, food trucks, music and vendors that will provide information on a variety of health care interests.

“The residents will be handing out candy,” Naekel said. “The kids will be able to go up and down the hallways, so the residents can see them in costume.”

The idea for the Fall Festival came about because much is happening at Village Place Health & Rehabilita-tion Center, and the folks there wanted a way to let everyone know.

“Our building is changing,” Naekel said, ticking off the proceedings. “We have a new medical director, a newer administrator. We’re breaking ground in December to build 20 new private rooms.

“We want to get in touch with the community a little more, let them know about us and introduce ourselves to them and welcome the kids.”

For more information, call 941-624-5966.

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