Care Connection celebrates Senior Center Month
Care Connection’s 22 locations are celebrating Senior Center Month in September as they continue provide essential services while keeping a safe distance.
The national celebration theme for the month is “Senior Centers: Delivering Vital Connections,” and the area agency on aging continues to do just that in the 26th week of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since mid-March, staff members in all 13 West Central Missouri counties have prepared and delivered meals, made telephone wellness calls, and creatively connected older adults to activities, exercise and each other through the internet and telephone.
“We haven’t been able to open our centers for in-person services – yet – but we have every intention of doing so when local and national health officials indicate that it’s safe for older adults to meet for extended periods of time indoors,” said Care Connection Executive Director Diana Hoemann. “No one misses the fellowship and friendships we have forged with older adults in our communities any more than our center staff members do. However, we must remain closed amid increasing COVID-19 numbers in all our 13 counties and under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control.”
The 60-and-older group that Care Connection serves has been identified as the most likely to suffer lasting ill effects from the COVID-19 virus, prompting the agency to proceed cautiously.
“Meanwhile, we have worked hard to connect with adults 60 and older,” Hoemann said. “Most of our centers provide curbside meals for those who want to pick them up, as well as frozen and hot lunches delivered to people’s homes.”
The theme of Senior Center Month highlights how Care Connection is delivering vital connections to support older adults aging well.
Preventing social isolation is vital and a core senior center mission. While the delivery methods have changed during the pandemic, centers have succeeded in continuing to provide knowledge, programming, and resources.
Care Connection is proud of the way in which our team members have answered the call.
The key words for the month are Mind, Body, Spirit, Community, and here is how they are addressing these:
•Mind: “Cabin Fever Cures” is a weekly newsletter offering brain health games, word finds, numbers puzzles and more. The senior centers also offer online courses meant to enhance the mind. They have expanded online courses to include support groups and activities to keep your mind strong.
•Body: Virtual classes on Tai Chi, Exercise with Bobbie and Walk with Ease all aim to keep the body busy. These are offered free to the participants.
•Spirit: Telephone reassurance is aimed at lifting spirits. Regular phone calls aim to keep older adults connected to services, information and a friendly voice.
•Community: They are continuing to create a virtual community where we they connect with participants to keep them in touch until they can safely meet again. They are partnering with libraries, extension offices and others tor reach out virtually to older adults and caregivers.
To find out more about the center’s meals, care management or online offerings, call one of the numbers below. To register online for one of our Learning Connection sessions, visit www.goaging.org and click on the news and events tab.
Care Connection, a nonprofit area agency on aging, serves 13 west Central Missouri counties with a mission to provide opportunities to create positive aging experiences. The vision is that the people we serve will live with maximum independence, respect and dignity. For more information, call 1-800-748-7826. The Saline County location is the Marshall Senior Center, 660-886-9888.