The Will Rogers Library has begun a new initiative serving residents in Senior Care Facilities in Claremore. “This is a program we’ve wanted to do for many years, but for various reasons the logistics never came together” said Library Director Sherry Beach. “Finally, last year all the pieces fell in place, and we were able to begin to explore the possibilities”.
Leslie Rogers, Outreach Coordinator, is spearheading the project. “We began by sitting down with the Tulsa Library and looking at how they do their senior outreach services, and examining whether we could take on a project of this scale” said Rogers. “We also spoke to the senior residence care facilities in Claremore to see if there was interest in this type of service, and most were very excited about the possibilities.”
“Reading can offer such benefits for Seniors” said Rogers. “It can enhance memory, help with decision making, reduce stress and improve relaxation and sleep habits, and some studies have shown reading can delay the onset of dementia-related illnesses. And of course, it’s just fun to be able to lose yourself in a book!”.
“For our partnering facilities, it’s a free service they can offer as an added benefit to their residents, something families and caregivers can look for as an important quality of life feature when considering a residence or care center” added Rogers.
“The City was 100 percent supportive, and allowed us to repurpose one of the older City vehicles into a small Bookmobile to be able to transport materials back and forth between the Library and the participating residences” said Beach. The Friends of the Will Rogers Library is funding the ongoing purchase of an exclusive collection of new books, most of them specifically Large Print, to create a reserve of materials available just for this Outreach Service. “That financial commitment on the part of Friends was crucial to our being able to move forward with this opportunity” Beach emphasized.
In September of 2018, the Library began a trial period working with the Claremore Nursing Home to establish and perfect the program. “We had planned on a six-month trial run but things went better than expected, and we were able to begin rolling out the program to other centers” said Rogers. This year, the program is up and running, and library is adding other residences. Currently, the library is serving the Claremore Nursing Home, Brookfield Assisted Living, and is starting at Emerald Memory Care this month. Each center is visited once per month, and each resident can check out items, and work directly with Outreach Service librarians to request authors and titles they enjoy. “We take a large variety with us each visit, and we try to customize what we take to each center, knowing that difference residents at each place will have different abilities and interests” said Rogers.
“We’re so thrilled to be able to reach out to our Senior community and offer this service” said Beach. “So many of the residents are patrons that used to love to come to the library. What better way to show our appreciation for their years of patronage than to make sure we find ways they can continue to enjoy their library, by bringing the library to them!”
For more information about the Will Rogers Library’s Senior Care Outreach Service contact Leslie Rogers at 918-341-1564.