Webster’s Joy Of Reading Opens New World At Tri-ko

Everyday at 11 a.m., senior citizens and a few who are younger gather around Foster Grandparent Helen Webster in the Retirement Room at TRI-KO Inc. in Osawatomie. With newspaper in hand and wearing her pink smock, Webster begins by reading the Osawatomie Journal and other newspapers before moving on to short novels.

Currently, Webster is reading the novel, Forbidden Treasure by Jackie Dalton, which Webster hopes will keep their interest. “Even though I spend the first half hour reading the newspaper and talking about the news, they look forward to each book we are reading. They really like the Nancy Drew books, and we recently read a Bobbsey Twins novel,” Webster said.

Even though there are a lot of good books out there today, Webster said, her listeners prefer older books. “They like the stories they remember from their own childhood. Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins never lose their appeal,” Webster said.

Daniel Boone, who is from La Cygne, said he likes the reading time. “Helen’s a good reader,” he said. Boone said he is also a fan of Talking Books but that this is better to have Helen here to read.

Osawatomie’s Julie Bacon picks up the newspapers before coming to work, she said. “I really like going in Moon’s on my way to work to get the papers,” Bacon said.

In the Osawatomie Journal, Webster reads the “Down Through the Years” column. “They really like to hear what things were like and what was going on 100 years ago,” Webster said. “And, one of these days, I need to bring the Paola, Kansas 150 Year Timeline history book. The Indian tribes and where things were located interest them,” Webster said.

Not everybody in the Retirement Room moves over to the news or the novels, said Webster. “Some like to watch the Price Is Right. Or play Bingo. Bonanza is on right now. This Friday they are going to the boats, to the Argosy Casino,” Webster said.

Karen Tatum, retirement activities specialist, said Webster has several important duties she performs daily at TRI-KO. “Our clients in the Retirement Room really enjoy her reading to them. But Helen also spends time in the morning helping them with their exercises. She is really a big help,” Tatum said.

Walking down to the cul-de-sac in the cemetery is something they all like, Webster said. “And besides it provides not just exercise but fresh air,” Webster said.

Webster said Daniel is very good at playing Wii bowling. “Daniel’s blind, but you should see him. He’s fabulous,” Webster said. One time a staff member was watching my game, said Boone. “She said, ‘Are you sure you can’t see that screen?’ You do pretty well,” Boone said. “I said, ‘No I can’t.’”

Playing music during their exercise time is fun. “We like to play the song, ‘The Twist,’ on the CD player. Sherry Post likes to do the twist. I will say, ‘Shake your booty, Sherry.’ And she does. They also like to dance to the Hokey Poky,” Webster said.

Boone said they really like to walk and have participated in 5Ks. “Daniel and Jennifer Wiley, who is from Spring Hill, walked the 5K at Osawatomie’s Railroad Days,” Webster said.

Webster said she will help with the exercises by reading and sharing news, and in the afternoon helping in the sheltered workshop, where wage-seeking clients participate in contract and piece work for vendors. “I keep active in this room,” Helen said, “helping where I can.”

Assisting in the workshop, she said, is important and necessary. “I help with projects, to see that it is done right. Or make sure the count is right. But what I like most about this is being able to encourage them along the way,” Webster said.

Ginger Baird, a support services specialist, said not everybody in the retirement room is of retirement age. “But they can come here because they may not be working. We normally have about 20 who come here. This gives them a place to rest, and they can still have ongoing activities if they like,” said Baird.

Webster received her orientation training this past March and began at the TRI-KO facility in April.

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Posted by Kevin on Aug 25 2010. Filed under News and Updates. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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