A new experiencePublished 9:50am Saturday, June 16, 2012
Residents from the neighborhoods at St. John’s Lutheran Home enjoy their outings to local restaurants and stores.
Volunteer Coordinator Carla Reichel said the trips are important to help residents continue to feel a part of the community and to be able to keep having new experiences.
Andrea Irlas, activities director of 2nd North, said on a recent trip to Yamato Steak House that residents were treated like royalty by the restaurant staff.
“They’d come answer questions and explain the food,” Irlas said. “They brought out samples of the food and even helped residents get off the bus.”
Irlas said she likes to call restaurants in advance so they can be prepared, like making space for wheelchairs and even preparing more homemade pies like when residents visit the cafe in Hartland.
Residents Peter Galkin, Warren Tuttle and Betty Tasker each said they had a good experience at the restaurant and that they liked trying new foods.
Each month residents meet and discuss which restaurants they’d like to visit and which events or stores they’d like to go to. Once a month a bus goes to Diamond Jo Casino, too.
The trips couldn’t be done without the help of volunteers, though. Some trips they just need one or two, but on other trips like walking the Blazing Star Trail they need a volunteer for each resident.
“We have lots of volunteers who’ve volunteered here a long time,” Irlas said. “The residents look forward to seeing them.”
Volunteers are always needed, Irlas said. They like to take trips to restaurants weekly and trips shopping at least once a week.
“We try to stay busy,” Irlas said.