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Stories

Help Is Close at Hand

By January 3, 2022No Comments2 min read

As a mother and preacher’s wife, Annie lived a life of caring for others. Now dealing with progressing dementia, her conversations stop and start and memories elude her. But she hasn’t lost her purpose.

“Miss Annie is one of our client volunteers,” said Monica Yarn, director of Adult Day Services at St. Ann Center’s Bucyrus Campus. “These are clients who assist with activities under staff supervision. For Annie, it’s second nature to start wiping off tables or folding laundry. New memories fade, but she hasn’t forgotten how to help others.”

Client volunteer duties run the gamut from pushing wheelchairs and leading exercises to talking to someone who looks lonely. “We all need to be needed—and having these responsibilities makes clients realize they’re an important part of this world,” Monica said.

That’s the case with Charles Brown who kiddingly refers to Monica as “boss lady.” He explains, “If I can help somebody feel better, then I feel better, too.” A master at playing cards, Charles can often be found patiently teaching other clients the intricacies of Kings in the Corner, Crazy Eights or Spades.

St. Ann Center benefits from having these special people to call on. “Our client volunteers are always on the lookout for people in their unit who need assistance,” Monica said. “It’s wonderful for our staff to have extra pairs of hands and eyes when we need them.”

Someone Monica has come to depend on is Cathy Roza. A multi-talented client with more than 60 years of dance experience under her feet, she’s adept at everything from ballet to ballroom. “I especially love teaching the little ones how to move their bodies,” Cathy explained her passion for working with St. Ann Center’s childcare kids.

She’s also proud of a certificate St. Ann Center awarded her for her volunteer efforts. “I framed it and hung it on my wall,” she said.

You help clients share their gifts.

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