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Williamsport Retirement Village resident understands staff's point of view

Lena Plakotaris was former aide at WRV

Lena Plakotaris was former aide at WRV

June 11, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

WILLIAMSPORT - It was lunchtime at the Williamsport Retirement Village and it all seemed so familiar to Lena Plakotaris.

The 90-year-old was in the cheery dining room overlooking the grounds. She was picking at her food, saying she wasn't very hungry.

That's it, she'd been there before.

Only now she is a resident. For 11 years, Plakotaris was employed at WRV in the nursing home as an aide during the late 1950s and the early 1960s.

"I loved the old people," Plakotaris said of her days of working there. "I bathed them, I combed their hair, whatever they needed."

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So around Easter this year, Plakotaris came to live at WRV.

"My daughters thought I'd be happy here with other older people," she said.

Born in Clarksburg, W.Va., Plakotaris and her husband, now deceased, came to this area in the 1950s because of his work as a plumber. They had six children, five of whom are still alive.

"I raised them here," Plakotaris said of Washington County.

Times were hard when Plakotaris raised her children.

"I had to work, there was no money," she said.

Plakotaris worked for a while in a bakery before coming to work as a nursing assistant under the leadership of the late Barbara Linell, who was a nurse for 44 years at Williamsport Retirement Village.

"It is so interesting to have a resident who knows what it is like to be in the nursing assistant's shoes and has been through everything they have been through," said Jordyn Shifler, WRV's director of communications.

Shifler added that it is so natural watching Plakotaris interact with residents and staff in the nursing home.

Plakotaris goes out to lunch every Wednesday with Shifler and other staff members.

"They work hard here. It's a hard job taking care of older people," Plakotaris said. "I know."

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