Brooklyn’s older adults celebrate the spooky season at JASA Halloween parties

JASA invites local seniors out for a day of Halloween fun.
JASA hosted a Halloween party for North Brooklyn seniors at its Williamsburg location on Oct. 26.
Photo courtesy of JASA

Halloween wasn’t just for the little ones this year! JASA, a nonprofit agency offering services of all kinds for the city’s older adults, made the Halloween spirit accessible to Brooklyn’s seniors at parties all across the borough.

The Williamsburg Older Adult Center started off the spooky celebrations on Wednesday, Oct. 26 with a costume party. Attendees dressed up as witches, kings, and more, and decked themselves out in orange feather boas and spooky sunglasses. 

JASA hosts yearly events for NYC senior residents. The Halloween parties were just one of many ways they have fun with senior adults.
JASA hosts yearly events for Brooklyn seniors, and provides housing, hot meals and other services year-round. Photo courtesy of Jessica Infante

JASA serves more than 40,000 people annually, according to their website, and provides a huge array of services from home care to legal services and meal giveaways. Their “Older Adult Centers” are a “home away from home,” serving as hubs for socialization, education, and more. 

Jessica Infante, program director for JASA’s Williamsburg location, said this is the first year the organization has been able to host parties since 2019.

She and the program director from the Scheuer House Older Adult Center in Coney Island worked together for the first time to include dozens of seniors in celebrating Halloween with costumes, arts and crafts and tons of candy. 

“We really wanted them to feel like part of a group,” Infante told Brooklyn Paper. “Most of our clients do live alone so it’s very important for them to feel at home. We really want them to feel like part of a family.”

JASA halloween party
The Halloween party was filled with lots of sweet treats, music and dancing. JASA provides food and craft materials for seniors so they don’t have to spend any additional money to take part in the festivities. Photo courtesy of Jessica Infante

The senior adults were encouraged to come out to connect with people in their community at Scheuer House during the afternoon on Halloween. 

Lidia Shneyer, program director for the Scheuer House, says the midday party included tons of raffles, contests for best costume and goodie bags for all.

“Everyone danced, ate and celebrated together,” Shneyer said. “In addition to the Halloween festivities, we also had the privilege of celebrating one of our senior’s birthday yesterday.”

The party was full of games, snacks and music.
Costumed party-goers pose for a group photo.Photo courtesy of Lidia Shneyer

Infante said since most of their participants come from lower income communities, they made sure to provide everything from costume props and crafts so the seniors wouldn’t have to spend extra money to participate. 

“We are in a fixed income neighborhood so a lot of our clients are low budget so we like to offer as much as we can so that they don’t feel like they need to spend extra money just to feel included,” she said.