Croquet: Volunteer Finds His Place

By: Asa Fix, Public Relations and Marketing Intern 

“I wasn’t sure what my niche at Seniors Resource Center (SRC) would be when I first started volunteering here a year ago, but I knew from past volunteer experience it would eventually show up,” said Bruce Yaple, volunteer and founder of SRC’s Croquet Club.

Last summer Bruce attended a presentation by James Creasy of Jiminy Wicket. He learned about the therapeutic benefits croquet provides for individuals with dementia at this presentation. It’s similar to music therapy, pet therapy, etc. This is where Bruce discovered his niche and started a Croquet Club.  

Tony takes the game winning shot
Tony takes the game winning shot

Bruce’s niche has been very successful among the Adult Day participants. Almost anyone can play croquet including those with walkers and wheelchairs. Croquet gives participants the therapeutic benefits of physical exercise, cognitive stimulation and social engagement while simply having a good time.  

A dozen or more people gather around the playing area to watch or partake in the game. All of the participants cheer for each other. There is a lot of excitement and joking around that takes place.

Tony a 92-year-old SRC Adult Day participant always looks forward to chatting with Bruce and the other participants while playing croquet. It brings out Tony’s competitive side. Back in the day he was an amateur boxer in the Navy and now he loves to compete in a game of croquet.

“We have a lot of fun playing, trying to hit that ball through the hoops,” Tony said. “ You have to hit it just right. The floor seems to be a little slanted so it’s a lot like playing golf. It’s great entertainment.”

At SRC’s Adult Day Program, Croquet Club has become a huge hit. They play on Monday’s from 12:30pm-2:00pm. There is never a dull moment in that time span. Nothing is better than seeing the participants smile while they play.

“Over the past year, we had one client who was non-verbal,” explained Bruce. “Since I started the club, he now speaks to me in complete sentences and actually seeks me out for conversation.”

Bruce has a strong passion for seniors and the feeling he gets from serving the senior community is priceless.

Adult Day & Respite Services offer day programs to assists older adults with physical and cognitive challenges, and young adults with developmental disabilities, remain in their own homes with their families. Friendly, compassionate and supportive staff cares for people with Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and other conditions.