Sunday, July 5, 2020
Senior Connection Announces Phased Reopening
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Leslie Silva, one of The Senior Connection’s avid volunteers, has found herself with time on her hands since she has not been able to help out in the dining room during the pandemic. So, she snapped this picture of her daughter Miss Silva and dog Dingo at a wintry Pioneer Cabin this week for her beloved seniors, instead.
   
Sunday, May 31, 2020
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTO BY LESLIE SILVA

The Senior Connection plans to reopen on Monday, July 6.

The Connection will have several phases of reopening to maintain the safety and well-being of its members.

“We know that the past few months have been extremely challenging and even lonely for many,” said Jovita Pina, The Connection’s associate executive. “We are as anxious as everyone else to return to our regular programs and services.”

Plans are still being hashed out. But Phase One would involve resuming lunch in the dining half while maintaining home-delivered meals and curbside meal pick-up. The Connection added dozens more clients to its Meals on Wheels program and others came by the facility to pick up lunches while the dining room was closed during stay-at-home orders.

Phase Two includes resuming fitness classes and educational presentations.

And Phase Three and four involves resuming transportation using The Connection’s vans, field trips, games and activities. The Connection Club for those with memory challenges will also start back up.

Protocols during the first two phases will include screening for COVID-19, physical distancing, face masks and frequent handwashing. Reservations will be taken for lunches and no visitors or guests will be allowed.

Protocols will relax during phases three and four with physical distancing, face masks and frequent handwashing encouraged.

Executive Director Teresa Beahen Lipman said the outpouring of support The Connection has received since mid-March has been nothing short of heartwarming. In addition to monetary donations, many have called to volunteer their time.

Offers to volunteer had to be turned down initially to limit exposure to seniors. But that will change in July. That’s when The Connection will pair volunteers with seniors through an Adopt-a-Senior program.

Volunteers will be invited to drive isolated seniors to The Connection during the first two stages of the reopening plan when the Connection will not offer its van transportation.

Volunteers will be enlisted to call or visit seniors who are not ready to come back to the center due to underlying health conditions or other reasons. And volunteers will also be enlisted to assist with such chores as grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions and mail.

Lipman said that The Connection will try to keep people as safe as possible by using community “bubbles” made of individuals whose members who have been safely quarantining and can now start hanging out with other observant groups.

“What this means for us is having people sit at the same table at lunchtime and having our volunteers help the same seniors as much as possible,” she said.

 

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