Library to offer engaging programs for seniors

Events are meant to facilitate community involvement, learning

Players+at+the+Colfax+Library+place+a+marker+on+their+playing+cards+during+Bingo+Night+last+spring%2C+one+of+the+most+popular+events+among+seniors+in+the+community.
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Library to offer engaging programs for seniors

Players at the Colfax Library place a marker on their playing cards during Bingo Night last spring, one of the most popular events among seniors in the community.

Players at the Colfax Library place a marker on their playing cards during Bingo Night last spring, one of the most popular events among seniors in the community.

COURTESY OF KRISTIE KIRKPATRICK

Players at the Colfax Library place a marker on their playing cards during Bingo Night last spring, one of the most popular events among seniors in the community.

COURTESY OF KRISTIE KIRKPATRICK

COURTESY OF KRISTIE KIRKPATRICK

Players at the Colfax Library place a marker on their playing cards during Bingo Night last spring, one of the most popular events among seniors in the community.

ANGELICA RELENTE, Evergreen reporter

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everal activities for seniors, including knitting and Tai Chi, will be offered at the Colfax Library starting Oct. 2.

“It’s a way for them to get out and interact with people,” said Molly Overby, senior program director. “It also helps with their cognitive function and their coordination.”

The fall programs for seniors will be hosted 1-3 p.m. every Tuesday and will occur as follows: Bingo Night, Balance Assessment & Tai Chi, Knitting for Beginners, Color Me Crafty and Learn to Loom Knit.

Bingo Night is one of the most popular events and has been going on for about three years, said Kristie Kirkpatrick, Whitman County Library director.

One of the new activities the library is including with the fall program is Tai Chi, she said. It will be hosted by a representative from the Whitman Hospital & Medical Center’s therapy department.

“We’re kind of hopeful that Tai Chi might continue,” Kirkpatrick said, “but we’ll see how our turnout is.”

Knitting for Beginners will be facilitated by Dianne Appel and supplies will be provided for attendees.

Color Me Crafty will involve coloring and crafting activities and Learn to Loom Knit will be hosted by Tami Drader, a well-known knitter in the community, Kirkpatrick said.

There are about 40 to 120 attendees every month, she said. The program is usually exclusive for seniors 55 and up, but sometimes attendees bring their grandkids, Overby said.

Something the library encourages is community involvement, Kirkpatrick said. They are always looking for partners and community members who would be willing to teach.

“Because our budget is so low, it really helps us stretch our dollars,” she said.

The library hosted special art programs over the summer but the turnout was low, Kirkpatrick said. The library decided to continue the workshops during the fall in hopes of having a higher attendance rate.

“In the fall, people just kind of get back into gear [and] get back on schedule,” she said.

Caregiver Support Group is another program the library offers every first and third Monday of the month, Kirkpatrick said. Rural Resources Community Action partnered with the library to facilitate a free, professional caregiver support group.

“If people are caring for loved ones,” she said, “it’s a great place for them to just come and get support from other people.”

Seniors are also encouraged to visit the library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday if they have questions about how to use technology, Kirkpatrick said. Library staff members are able to help, but there is also a technology specialist available for big questions.

“They’re having all sorts of problems just from simple, ‘How do I do this on my phone?’ and, ‘How do I send an email?’ ” she said.

The library hopes to continue the program during the winter and spring, Overby said.

“We just feel like people are happier and healthier if they continue to learn throughout their lives,” Kirkpatrick said.