By Pat Nelson
Valley Bugler Columnist
Woodland Assisted Living
I stopped by the Woodland Assisted Living facility in November to check out the holiday bazaar. It was the first of many holiday events for the center. Five-year resident Myrtle Adams (pictured above) attended a table with items made by residents for the Resident Council for Extra Activities. This volunteer group raises money for things like plays, outings, entertainment, lunches, and casino trips.
Myrtle Adams was proud to tell me that she and her mother had both graduated from Woodland High School. The Resident Council is not her only volunteer activity. She is also the “weather girl,” listening to the weather station and passing the weekly weather forecasts on to those attending exercise classes.
Julie Porter, Life Enrichment Coordinator, filled me in on other upcoming holiday events at the facility. “The Family and Residents’ Christmas Party,” she said, “will be held December 15 with lunch, games, Christmas carols and musical performances.”
A Christmas party for residents only on the Friday before Christmas is also scheduled. That’s when Santa will arrive to pass out gifts and stockings. Many items have been donated by the VFW and others, and some have been provided by the facility. The donations help fill the stockings and also provide gifts like hats, soaps, personal-care items and candy. Other popular items are stuffed animals, lap robes and new or used clothing items, particularly in sizes 4x and 5x. “Small sizes are not in high demand,” Porter said. “And lap robes are always good because they wear out and need to be replaced.”
The facility has its own 12-passsenger bus, and about half of the assisted-living residents take a tour of the holiday lights at Portland International Raceway (PIR). The Woodland Care Center side of the facility, too, takes some residents on the PIR tour.
Tuesday shopping excursions are also a popular part of the season, a chance for some to purchase gifts for friends and family and to enjoy going out to lunch. Residents shop both locally and in Vancouver.
The Auction Game played at the facility gives folks a chance to earn play money and to bid on prizes. The game is always popular, and at this time of the year, some residents are excited to win prizes that they can give as Christmas gifts.
On Christmas Day, many on the Assisted Living side leave the facility to go out with family members. Those who do not go out enjoy a nice lunch and a light dinner. Family members are welcome to join in on the Christmas lunch by making reservations at least a week in advance. Call 360-225-9443 for reservations.
Anyone wishing to donate prizes, Christmas-stocking stuffers or gifts is welcome to stop by Woodland Assisted Living at 310 4th Street in Woodland. I’m sure I have some items that will make good stocking stuffers and Christmas presents for the residents, and often the best gift of all is the one you give to someone else.
Pat Nelson, is co-creator of three humorous and sometimes edgy anthologies: ‘Not Your Mother’s Book: On Being a Parent’ (Amazon.com & retailers); On Being a Grandparent; and On Working for a Living.