Brooklyn Public Library offers an excellent program for older adults at senior centers and nursing homes. Words and Memories brings read-alouds, poetry recitals, games, film discussions and more to senior facilities to help elders remain socially engaged and intellectually stimulated. It’s offered in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian.
BPL currently offers Words and Memories at 16 senior sites throughout Brooklyn on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Last year it served 1,700 participants.
Taina Evans, BPL’s coordinator of older adults services, says the program receives a great deal of positive feedback, not only from participants, but also from the facilities’ staff. One of the keys to the success of the program is that it employs older adults to lead the sessions.
“Brooklyn Public Library’s Outreach Services Department administers an employment program that teaches older adults how to deliver free cultural and educational programs at libraries, nursing homes and senior centers throughout the borough,” Evans said. “The senior assistants, as they are known, help older adults improve their minds and overcome the boredom and depression from which far too many older people suffer. They are essential to the Words and Memories program.”
The library supplies the Words and Memories sites with books, historical memorabilia and other resources chosen to spark conversation. “We try to tie into current events, the seasons, the holidays and any other relevant topics that will help seniors retain the memories that matter most to them,” Evans said.
For more information about Words and Memories and other Brooklyn Public Library programs for older adults check out their website.