Almost a month after getting surgery on her arm for a broken wrist, Ana Cancel, 65, put her cast to good use Monday afternoon — dressing up as a hospital patient for the recent Health Outreach Halloween party.
“I had surgery at the Millstein, and I already had plans to come to the party, so I asked one of the nurses if she could give me a gown,” Cancel said with a laugh, adding that she always enjoys the parties and events organized by the program.
Dozens of people between the ages of 60 to 90 joined the fun at the Allen Hospital at 5141 Broadway, near 220th Street, dressed as their favorite characters, animals and hobbies to celebrate the spooky event with a costume contest and lots of fun.
Health Outreach, which is sponsored by New York-Presbyterian, organizes several events throughout the year for the seniors in the program that hail from Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and Riverdale. The free program also conducts 15 workshops including Zumba, yoga, belly dancing, knitting and ballroom dancing, organizers said.
“I came to dance and have fun,” said Luis Rosario, 77, of Inwood, who danced all afternoon to several old merengue hits and Michael Jackson's “Thriller” — with the help of some festive sunglasses and maracas.
Alicia Gonzalez, 75, danced about the room with her friends all afternoon. Dressed as a bride with a lacy white gown, flowers and bridal headpiece, Gonzalez won the costume contest — on the same day she celebrated her birthday.
Ana Suarez also took a prize for her 1950s costume that she designed herself, including a hot pink skirt, black belt, white buttoned-down blouse and pink sunglasses.
“I’ve always loved this era – and how they dressed. So it was pretty easy,” Suarez said in Spanish.
Gonzalez and Suarez each won two tickets for a Shen Yun performance at Lincoln Center.