Centenarian volunteers twice a week at local assisted living center

Ann calls out the numbers as she pulls balls from the basket during a game of Bingo.

As she sits in her chair, bingo numbers, she looks around the room at the residents who make up Victorian Estates.

Many, she said, ask her advice. And why not, Ann, who volunteers at Oklahoma’s first assisted living center, probably has the answers. After all, she’s probably lived through all of the questions.

Ann, who asked that her last name not be revealed, is 100 years old.

Ann is not a resident; she’s a volunteer.

“I come here twice a week,” she said Friday during the assisted living center’s 20th anniversary party.

She does volunteer work with the activities’ director Sparkle Smith, helping with exercise programs as well as bingo or anywhere else she is needed.

“We are very blessed,” said Smith.

And she’s been a volunteer for about 10 years.

Ann said she began volunteering more than 50 years ago in Denver. She eventually moved to Yukon to be near her children and grandchildren, and needed something to do.

Officials at Victorian Estates asked if she would like to help out. She didn’t hesitate to say yes.

“I love working with the elderly,” she said.

And she’s remains healthy.

“I’ve never been in the hospital. I’ve done this for 50 years,” Ann said.

Smith said the facility is small, but Ann’s help is important.

“She helps me with ideas. She gives me lots of ideas,” Smith said.

Ann said she wants to stay busy.

“I’ve been here so long people want to talk with me. I don’t give advice. I point them to people who can help them,” she said.

Ann worked as an assistant in a doctor’s office before retiring, but she just couldn’t stop working.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Ann said.

She also doesn’t plan to retire.

“I plan to continue as long as I can,” she said.

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