Ready to Reopen: Hoover Senior Center set to open after 14 ½ month shutdown
Center will welcome back Seniors June 1st
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s been 14 months since Dana Henson has been able to see beloved citizens inside the Hoover Senior Center that she manages.
But in just a few days, that will change.
“It’s exciting we can’t tell you how excited we are about reopening. We are resuming normal activities,” says Hensen.
Coronavirus guidelines set by the Alabama Department of Senior Services end May 31st and the center plans to resume normal activities June 1st.
That includes exercises classes, something the center’s director says seniors have really missed.
“Seniors are most excited about staying active, they have always been that way at this facility. We have everything from tai chi to Pilates to Zumba gold and general exercise classes and they have truly missed that,” says Henson.
Over the last year the center worked hard to connect with seniors through virtual and drive by events in an effort to combat the isolation and loneliness many felt during lockdowns.
“We have contacted our members through phone calls, we have actually gone and visited them, we did a road trip, we’d pick different days to go see seniors who were shut in and needed a boost but we found that by doing that it gave us a boost as well. We missed our people,” says Henson. “We also did meals on wheels and drive through events, we found anyway we could to break up their isolation and bring us together in a safe manner.”
She knows that reopening will be exciting, but also recognizes how difficult all the closures and social distancing has been on the senior population.
“It took a toll on people physically mentally socially spiritually, we really saw a difference, because that touch, being in contact with people really makes a difference on their quality of life,” says Henson.
That’s why they are planning to reopen in a big way, with a Sprit Week full of fun activities to help the seniors reconnect with each other. She’s hoping everyone will feel comfortable coming. Masks and social distancing are welcome, though they will not be enforcing either.
“Come on out, it’s here, it’s a beautiful place and it’s going to lift your spirits, it’s a time to get reconnected with other people,” says Henson.
The Hoover Senior Center costs $10 a year for Hoover residents, $25 for anyone who lives outside the city limits. Check out their website for more about the center and activities.
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